Perspectives on the Self The Emerging Science of Consciousness Rethinking Mortality

Ever since Socrates declared “the unexamined life is not worth living,” philosophers have been engaged in a passionate debate: What is the good life? What is the nature of happiness, and how can it be attained? Is morality or virtue a prerequisite to the good life? Is a meaningful life also a happy one? What is the path toward human flourishing?

While philosophers have been grappling with these questions for millennia, modern science has only recently begun to broach the problem of what constitutes the good life. Various scientific disciplines such as sociology, economics, neuroscience, and psychology have devised innovative and empirical methods for assessing subjective states of happiness and well-being, providing us with intriguing new clues about our complex nature as humans and what actually fosters a happy and meaningful life.


A New Science of Happiness: The Paradox of Pleasure
Thursday, October 8, 2015 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out

How does the relationship between happiness and pleasure shape our quest to lead the good life? Attorney Kim Azzarelli, historian Darrin McMahon, and psychologist Barry Schwartz discuss their research on happiness, pleasure, and the coveted good life. Learn More


The Moral Animal: Virtue, Vice & Human Nature
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Is a basic model of human nature necessary to navigate the good life? Philosophers Susan Neiman and Christian Miller, social psychologist Simone Schnall, and science writer Michael Shermer examine our moral ecology and its influence on our assumptions about human nature. Learn More


Cultivating Character: The Art of Living
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Philosopher of science Philip Kitcher joins Humean philosopher Valerie Tiberius and distinguished psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett to explore the role of wisdom in the interplay between positive emotions, virtues, and character.


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Past Conferences

Lance Becker, Stephan A. Mayer, and Sam Parnia highlight new discoveries in resuscitation science that are helping to bring back those on the brink of death.

Scienceline Intl. Bus. Times Psychology Today LiveScience


Christopher Comfort, Barbara Coombs Lee, Sam Shemie, and Mildred Z. Solomon weigh the legal, ethical, and social implications of lifesaving technologies on the lives of patients suspended between life and death

Psychology Today The Atlantic The Hastings Center


Peter Fenwick, Kevin Nelson, Mary Neal, and Sam Parnia discuss Recent "out of body" or "near death" experiences, and what can we learn from the transformative accounts of those who have nearly died?

Psychology Today CNN Epoch Times Spiegel


Jeffrey J. Kripal, Allan Kellehear, and Lani Leary share a multicultural perspective on death, dying, and what lies beyond.

Psychology Today The New York Times BBC