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Why is it so hard for human beings to live in peace?
Why is our culture increasingly polarized between opposite views on important moral questions?
What is our responsibility to others?
What do our brains have to do with our judgments about Us and Them?
How can you develop your own ethical stance and also respect people who think differently from you?

24.s10 Spring 2009 Undergraduate Ethics Seminar

Getting Beyond Us and Them: Living Ethically in a Complex World

Mondays from 3:30-5:00 pm
Location: 24-622
ES.S40 (6 credits; P/F)

In this lively, interactive seminar, we will read Joshua Greene’s book Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them (book will be provided). The seminar will kick off with a public forum with Dr. Greene and Dr. Emile Bruneau (MIT SaxeLab) on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00 pm. We will also draw on conversations with invited guests, video resources, and short articles from history, cognitive science and philosophy. Substantial snacks and tea will be provided.

Students will be required to prepare a one-page reflection and present a 5-minute presentation/reflection on one moral dilemma that matters to you and how the readings, discussions, and guests might influence your decisions.

Instructors: Patricia Weinmann (weinmann@mit.edu) & Thea Keith-Lucas (theakl@mit.edu)

Faculty advisor: Professor Samuel Allen