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Students, Scholars Discuss Foundations Of Ethics At Graduate Seminar
What can science teach us about the choice to think and how to strengthen our ability to focus? What should Objectivists make of claims that humans have desires wired into us by evolution? And just what is the choice to live, and is there a basis for saying that anyone who does not make that choice is wrong? These were some of the questions students and scholars investigated at the Atlas Society Graduate Seminar on the foundations of morality last week.
Student-led sessions included a workshop on a forthcoming paper on whether life or happiness is the ultimate value and a presentation by psychiatrist Ray Raad on scientific research into free will. Raad later commented: "Putting together a presentation, in particular, helped me to learn about one area of Objectivism in more depth and to understand how it relates to recent empirical studies. I came away with a deeper appreciation of Ayn Rand's many insights and the connections among the many principles in the Objectivist system of thought."
To learn more about the 2012 Graduate Seminar—including the reading list, if you want to explore any of the topics—read the syllabus.
Each year’s Graduate Seminar focuses on a different theme, and next year’s topic has not yet been chosen. Applications are normally due in the spring. To hear about this and other exciting Atlas Society events—including events for students and non-students at all levels of knowledge—sign up for our email list.
The Graduate Seminar’s longstanding lead faculty, TAS founder David Kelley and Director of Programs William R Thomas, were joined this year by two TAS staff members who were teaching the GradSem for the first time and two outside scholars: University of Oklahoma Professor Emerita and George Mason University Senior Fellow Neera K. Badhwar, Rockford College Assistant Professor Shawn Klein, Business Rights Center Managing Editor Alexander R. Cohen, and Director of Advocacy Edward Hudgins.