Biology of Consciousness: William James to Richard Schultes and Beyond


Monday, March 6, 2017, 6:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street


Brian D. Farrell, Director, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; Professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, Harvard Divinity School and the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

How do biological and cultural forces shape the development of consciousness? In this interdisciplinary dialogue, Brian Farrell and Davíd Carrasco will draw on the work of two earlier Harvard professors—psychologist William James and ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes—to consider whether culture is fundamentally biological, or whether the biology of consciousness is shaped by experience. The speakers will reflect on James’ “religious propensities” and Schultes’ study of psychoactive substances among Indigenous peoples in exploring the biological and cultural doors of perception.

If you are interested in some advance reading on the topic, visit this website.

Presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology.

Free and open to the public. Live streaming will be available on the DRCLAS Facebook page.

Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.