Massimo Pigliucci on Story, Virtue, Character and AI

Socrates /

Posted on: December 1, 2022 / Last Modified: December 1, 2022

Prof. Massimo Pigliucci is one of those very rare people who manage to combine the pursuit of deep science and the living ethos of practical philosophy. Massimo has Ph.D. degrees in Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, and Philosophy. He is also the author of hundreds of technical papers in both science and philosophy as well as a number of books including most recently, The Quest for Character: What the Story of Socrates and Alcibiades Teaches Us About Our Search for Good Leaders.

During this 1-hour conversation with Massimo Pigliucci, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as Mas Maiorum – i.e. “the way of the ancestors” and whether it is a kind of an organizing story; the need for a new global story and whether virtue and character can help solve problems such as Climate Change; the impact of role-models such as Gandhi and  Martin Luther King Jr.; whether we can teach virtue [or anything] by demonstrating the “how” or the “what” [or both]; transhumanism and AI as technocrat solutions to engineering out humanity’s flaws.

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full. To show your support you can write a review on iTunesmake a direct donation, or become a patron on Patreon.

Who is Massimo Pigliucci?

Prof. Massimo Pigliucci has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He currently is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of science, the nature of pseudoscience, and practical philosophies like Stoicism and New Skepticism.

Prof. Pigliucci has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for fundamental studies of genotype by environmental interactions and for public defense of evolutionary biology from pseudo-scientific attack.”

In the area of public outreach, Prof. Pigliucci has published in national and international outlets such as the New York TimesWashington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Contributing Editor to Skeptical Inquirer. He writes on practical and general philosophy at Medium.

At last count, Prof. Pigliucci has published 178 technical papers in science and philosophy. He is also the author or editor of 16 books, including the best-selling How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life (Basic Books). Other titles include Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk (University of Chicago Press), and the most recent The Quest for Character: What the Story of Socrates and Alcibiades Teaches Us about Our Search for Good Leaders (Basic Books).

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