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Quid Pro Quo


for Members

Quid Pro Quo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences


How does our concept of the Self differ from our concept of others? What makes the human concept of Self different from that of non-human selves such as animals?

Philosopher and neurobiologist Owen Flanagan and psychologists Paul Bloom and Roy Baumeister will examine current biological, psychological, and anthropological research on the complex interaction between the Self and others and will consider the roots of empathy and morality.

View Archived Webcast


Steve Paulson, Producer and Interviewer for Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge


Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, Florida State University

Paul Bloom, PhD, Yale University

Owen Flanagan, PhD, Duke University

Reception to follow.

This event is part of a 6-part series, Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness, bringing together experts from science and the humanities for an interdisciplinary discussion of the evolving notion and experience of the Self.

To Be or Not To Be: The Self as Illusion, December 7, 2010
Quid Pro Quo: The Ecology of The Self, February 23, 2011
The Pursuit of Immortality: From the Ego to the Soul, March 23, 2011
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Linking Belief to Behavior, April 28, 2011
Me, Myself, and I: The Rise of the Modern Self, May 12, 2011
Who Am I?: Beyond 'I Think, Therefore I Am', May 24, 2011

Each event in the series will also be broadcast as a webinar.

Please note:
Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every speaker's presentation will be broadcast in full via the webinar. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City where possible.

Presented by


Roy F. Baumeister, PhD

Florida State University

Roy F. Baumeister is the Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He received his PhD in social psychology in 1978 from Princeton University, and his research and teaching have also taken him to the University of California at Berkeley, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Texas at Austin, the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychological Research in Munich (Germany), the University of Virginia, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (at Stanford). He has authored nearly 500 publications and written or edited almost 30 books, including Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty (1997), The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life (2005), the Handbook of Self-Regulation (with K. Vohs, 2004), and Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men (2010). He studies a broad range of topics, including self-control, the need to belong, sexuality, aggression, social rejection, power, self-esteem, consciousness, free will, gender, and culture. 

Paul Bloom, PhD

Yale University

Paul Bloom is a professor of psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. Dr. Bloom has written for scientific journals, such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. He is the author or editor of four books, including Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human and, most recently, How Pleasure Works.

Owen Flanagan, PhD

Duke University

Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Neurobiology and Psychological and Brain Sciences at Duke University.  He is past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and has given the Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Lectures for distinguished contributions to the public understanding of philosophy. He is author of The Science of the Mind, Consciousness Reconsidered, Varieties of Moral Personality, Dreaming Souls, The Problem of the Soul and The Really Hard Problem: Meaning  in a Material World. His latest book, The Bodhisattva's Brain: Neurophilosophy and Selfless Persons, will be released by MIT Press in July.

Steve Paulson

Producer and Interviewer for Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge 

Steve Paulson is the executive producer and an interviewer for To the Best of Our Knowledge, a George Foster Peabody Award winning radio program produced at Wisconsin Public Radio and syndicated nationally by Public Radio International and Sirius Satellite Radio. Paulson has written for Salon, Slate and other publications. His radio reports have been broadcast on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday. His work has earned him awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Association and the Milwaukee Press Club. His recent book, Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science, is published by Oxford University Press.


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The Dana Foundation

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