As we learn more and more about the extent to which heredity equips people with personality, attitudes, and convictions, what happens to free will and human agency? Will this new understanding undermine, if not destroy, the possibility of holding people morally and legally accountable? In short, will science defeat free will?Sally Satel's life was saved a few years ago by Virginia Postrel donating her a kidney. Genetic and environmental determinism in action? Or free will?
These are the questions that eminent scholar James Q. Wilson is asking today. In 1993, when he published his widely acclaimed book The Moral Sense—in which he argued that an innate moral sense is powerfully shaped by our social relationships and interactions—many of today's insights into the biology of behavior were glimmers on the neuro-technological horizon.
At this event, he will discuss the implication of neuroscience's boldest claim: that it can explain everything about the human condition. Responding will be columnist David Brooks of the New York Times and AEI's Charles Murray and Sally Satel, M.D.
Discussants: David Brooks, New York Times Charles Murray, AEI Sally Satel, M.D., AEI
Moderator: Christina Hoff Sommers, AEI