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Evolutionary psychology is an emergent way of understanding human behaviour; interpreting contemporary human behaviour in a natural-selection-driven context can help us contemplate sociobiological problems. The consequences of our fleeting existence will be addressed, and how it defines our lives and our self-perceptions.
Humans as Animals: How we try to Study Human Behaviour from an Evolutionary Framework
Dr Rick O'Gorman (Senior Lecturer)
The scientific study of human behaviour has been around for a century and a half, longer if you count philosophers’ musings! Yet only recently have we started to think about humans as an evolved animal. 'Evolutionary psychology' has proven controversial at times while also having a substantial effect on how psychologists in general now think about their field. In my talk, I will look at how we use ‘evolutionary thinking’ to study human behaviour, how it does not necessarily lead to thinking of humans as hardwired and how it is constrained like any science in what it can do.
The Search for Meaning, In the Light of Death
Dr Philip Cozzolino (Lecturer)
I have spent nearly 20 years exploring the consequences facing mortality head-on, rather than trying to escape it. I’ve found that rejecting the reality of death is akin to denying a true part of who we are, which can lead to inauthentic conceptions of the self and to efforts to find meaning that are based on filling an existential hole that we ourselves dug. Individuals who deny death are seemingly caught in an endless loop of seeking meaning and feeling meaningless. Simultaneously moving forward in pursuit of meaning, all while looking back over their shoulder to see what they’re missing.