Boston-area PBK Events

Upcoming and Recent

Jun 25, 2020

7:30-9:30 PM

Book Club Discussion: _Behave_ by Robert Sapolsky

Join members of the Boston Association of PBK for a book discussion via Zoom, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, June 25th, 2020, at 7:30 PM. (Please note we are meeting Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday!)

Thomas Laage is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: PBK Boston Book Club Discussion on

Time: June 25, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/8920883489

Meeting ID: 892 088 3489

One tap mobile

+19292056099,,8920883489# US (New York)

+13126266799,,8920883489# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 253 215 8782 US

        +1 301 715 8592 US

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 892 088 3489

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adsp4E4qDJ

Guests of participants are welcome and please come even if you haven’t finished (or even started!) the book.

The discussion will be on this book:

Behave by Robert Sapolsky

From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do?

Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy.

And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened.

Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old.

The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

We look forward to a lively and wide-ranging discussion with this highly recommended book as a starting place.

Please RSVP to thomas@pbkboston.org or to tlaage@hotmail.com.

Please reload

The Phi Beta Kappa Society

BOSTON ASSOCIATION

Click here for more information

    • LinkedIn - White Circle
    • Facebook - White Circle
    • Twitter - White Circle
    • YouTube - White Circle
    • Instagram - White Circle

    © 2016 by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Image Credits.