Philosophical Perspectives on Biosciences: Moral Minds – Norms and their Evolution
Free Public Lecture
Malaysian Theatre B121
Melbourne School of Design
We differ from other mammals, and even other great apes, in many striking ways. We are much more cooperative than any other mammal; in particular, we cooperate with those who are not close relatives. Also, almost all of us recognise the existence of social norms that shape the lives of our social partners, and almost all of us feel some inclination to respect those norms, even when we would better off ignoring them, or when no-one else would know whether we conformed or not.
Those working on the evolution of human cognition and social life are sure there is some important connection between these two facts. Professor Kim Sterelny agrees, and will make a specific proposal about when and why responding to social norms became important in human social life.
Professor Kim Sterelny, ARC Laureate Professor of Philosophy in the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)
Professor Kim Sterelny
ARC Laureate Professor of Philosophy in the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)
Australian National University
Kim Sterelny is an ARC Laureate Professor of Philosophy in the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) at Australian National University. He is the winner of several international prizes in the philosophy of science, and editor of *Biology and Philosophy*. He is also a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. After studying philosophy at Sydney University, Kim Sterelny taught philosophy in Australia at Sydney, ANU (where he was Research Fellow, and then Senior Research Fellow, in Philosophy at RSSS from 1983 until 1987), and La Trobe Universities, before taking up a position at Victoria University in Wellington, where he currently holds a Personal Chair in Philosophy (in addition to his ANU appointment). He now spends half of each year at Victoria University and the other half of each year with the Philosophy Program at RSSS. Sterelny has been a Visiting Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and at Cal Tech and the University of Maryland, College Park, in the USA. His main research interests are Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Psychology and Philosophy of Mind. He is the author of *The Representational Theory of Mind* and the coauthor of *Language and Reality* (with Michael Devitt) and* Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biolog*y (with Paul Griffiths). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In addition to philosophy, Sterelny spends his time eating curries, drinking red wine, bushwalking and bird watching. **This event is a joint Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science event. It is also the inaugural event of the Philosophy of Sciences working group for the PEiPL (Philosophical Engagement in Public Life) network.**