THE CAUSES

Causality, Freedom and Justice

Fri 20 Apr | 19:30 | Petrassi hall
Birth is a lottery. We don’t choose our genes or the environment we grow up in, yet together these factors determine our identity. They determine our capacity for everything from empathy, physics, joy and imagination to concentration, perseverance, and self-control. Their interactions build the brain that we use to make our decisions. But if we don’t create our own brain, how can we be morally responsible for the choices that follow from it? The obvious yet provocative answer is that we cannot. Ultimately, luck determines who we are, who we want to be, and what resources — internal and external — we have at our disposal to make the transition from one to the other. Consequently, credit, blame, punishment and reward cease to make much sense. The march of science, particularly in understanding human psychology and the brain, makes this conclusion increasingly difficult to ignore. Raoul Martinez explains how these ideas are pregnant with implications for the way we think about morality, identity, economics, nature, justice and politics.

 
Raoul Martinez 
Serena Danna
(Vanity Fair)
Fri 20 Apr | 19:30 | Petrassi hall
tickets at € 3.00