Lecture Series Fundamente
Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
In this lecture, Nicholas Christakis discusses his most recent book, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society (Little, Brown Spark, 2019). While scientists often focus on the dark side of our biological heritage—aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest—Christakis chooses to explore the beneficial social features given to us by natural selection: the capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and teaching. Human inventions such as tools, farms, institutions, cities, and nations, he argues, evidence an innate proclivity to live together harmoniously. Christakis explains this proclivity using a wide range of real-world examples—communities formed in the wake of disastrous events, online social groups, and even the tender social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so closely resemble our own. Throughout, he shows that, despite a history filled with violence, humans cannot escape their social blueprint for goodness, and that, despite increasing polarization, we are united by our common humanity. Christakis will be in discussion with Stefan Klein, a guest professor of cultural studies and philosophy at the Universität der Künste Berlin.
In cooperation with Universität der Künste Berlin. Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds