Philosophy in the Library | Good Habits Aren’t Enough: On Aztec “Shared Agency”
Where: Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
718-230-2100 Price: Free
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Most people recognize the need for good habits. From the multi-decade best selling Seven Habits of Highly Successful People to The Power of Habit, authored by the Pulitzer Prize winning Charles Duhigg, books on the topic continue to command our public attention. They reflect, moreover, a deeply Western idea, since it was Plato and Aristotle who put correct habituation at the center of their ethical theories. The Aztecs of pre-Columbian Latin America, however, thought that individual habits are likely to fail us. And contemporary research in social psychology supports their outlook: we are largely influenced by forces outside our individual control or attention. In light of this disagreement, the talk develops what the Aztec view was, why it represents an improvement over the Western view, and how we might all live better lives by using it.
Sebastian Purcell, PhD is an internationally recognized expert on Aztec and Greek philosophy. He wants to know what insights these ancient cultures have that could help us lead better, happier lives. Venues as diverse as the BBC, Business Insider, and Aeon have featured or covered his research, and numerous agencies have supported it, including the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Templeton Religious Trust. His academic honours include the Best Essay Prize for Latin American Thought from the American Philosophical Association. He resides in upstate New York, where he works as an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Honors Program at the State University of New York at Cortland.Buy tickets/get more info now