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Paulson S.,Wisconsin Public Radio Madison Wisconsin | Berlin H.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Miller C.B.,Wake forest University | Shermer M.,Chapman University
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

In Leo Tolstoy's famous novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, a rich and meaningful inner life is sacrificed in pursuit of material rewards and social status. How can we cultivate something intrinsic that transcends our worldly accomplishments? Assuming that a basic model or map of human nature is needed to navigate the road to the good life, what desires, tendencies, and aversions constitute our core nature? How has our evolutionary history shaped our moral impulses? Are we inherently good or fundamentally flawed? Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, moderated a discussion with philosopher Christian Miller, neuroscientist Heather Berlin, and historian of science Michael Shermer to examine our moral ecology and its influence on our underlying assumptions about human nature. © 2016 The New York Academy of Sciences. Source

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