Does Darwin Illuminate Emotion & Spirituality?

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Featured speakers Paul Ekman, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, UC San Francisco and Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley discuss the connections between emotion and spirituality

Paul Ekman

Aside from being the scientific force underlying hit TV series “Lie to me”, Dr. Paul Ekman was a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco for 32 years. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago and New York University. Ekman then received his Ph.D. from Adelphi University in 1958 after spending a year in clinical internship at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, part of UCSF.

His interests have focused on two separate but related topics. He originally focused on ‘nonverbal’ behavior, and by the mid-60′s concentrated on the expression and physiology of emotion. His second interest is interpersonal deception.

His many honors have included the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association in 1991, and an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University of Chicago in 1994. Dr. Ekman retired from UCSF in 2004. He currently continues to consult on research and training related to emotion and deception.

Dacher Keltner

Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, is a social psychologist who focuses on the prosocial emotions, such as love, sympathy and gratitude, and processes such as teasing and flirtation that enhance bonds.

He has conducted empirical studies in three areas of inquiry. A first looks at the determinant and effects of power, hierarchy and social class. A second in concerned with the morality of everyday life, and how we negotiate moral truths in teasing, gossip, and other reputational matters. A third and primary focus in on the biological and evolutionary basis of the benevolent affects, including compassion, awe, love, gratitude, and laughter and modesty.

Topics

  • DACHER KELTNER: Role of Darwin in Human Emotion
  • Principles of Expression / Serviceable Habits
  • Principle of Antithesis
  • Nature of the Startle Response
  • Evolution of Emotions
  • PAUL EKMAN: Misconceptions of Darwin’s Work
  • Darwin’s ‘The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals’
  • Heroic Compassion
  • Global Compassion
  • CONVERSATION: First Read of Darwin
  • How Did Darwin ‘Always’ Get it Right?
  • Disconfirming ‘Born to Be Good’
  • Differing Expressions of Emotions
  • Darwin, Spirituality and Compassion
  • Compassionate Outliers and Evolution

Q & A

  • Love
  • Epigenetics
  • Humor and Laughter
  • Evolution of Heroic Compassion
  • Explaining Bell’s Palsy or Autism
  • Anger Towards Homeless People
  • Cultural Variation
  • Training Mind to Prevent Emotional Hijacking
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Is Darwin a Diest?
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Heroic Compassion and Emotional Aberration
  • Does Darwin Illuminate Emotion and Spirituality?