A self-fulfilling prophecy: Linking belief to behavior
Moderated by Esther Sternberg (author of Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-being), philosopher Simon Critchley (the New School for Social Research), cognitive scientist Shaun Gallagher (University of Central Florida), and physicist V.V. Raman (Rochester Institute of Technology) survey how the self is shaped by interactions with the environment; how free will, responsibility, and other traits emerge; and how character and virtue become targets for constructing the self. The following is an edited transcript of the discussion that occurred April 28, 2011, 7:00–8:15 PM, at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.
Sternberg: I want to thank the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences for hosting this extremely interesting and provocative series. I think we’ll find out that tonight’s question is even more interesting and provocative, perhaps the most among all of them. I’mgoing to introduce first our panelists.
Simon Critchley is chair and professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He’s the author of many books, and he is running a philosophy column for the New York Times called “The Stone.” And he’s going to welcome all of you to contribute your comments to his philosophy column on the Web. I think that’s quite a groundbreaking thing, for the New York Times to have a philosophy column!