11 October 2018

19:30 - 21:30

Birth of Reason 

Descartes, Darwin, Dennett: Paradigmatic Changes in our Perception of Animals and Mind 

Prof. Jan van Hooff
em. Professor in Ethology & Socio-ecology, Utrecht University

Thu 11 Oct - 19:30 to 21:30
Auditorium, Minderbroedersberg 4-6

Descartes proposed that animals are no more than machines. A grandiose thought, because it prompted the question: “How then does it work”?, which triggered the flourishing of empirical biology and physiology. Descartes also regarded man as a machine, but with something extra, the non-physical λόγος or ratio, which is compliant with customary dualistic body-mind thinking. Then came Darwin. He viewed both body and soul as a product of evolution and natural selection. And now there is modern behavioural biology and the comparative cognition and neurosciences, which pulverise the traditional man-animal dichotomy.

Jan van Hooff is a Dutch biologist. He was professor of comparative physiology at Utrecht University. He is most famous for his research on the behaviour of primates. After reading the book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by

UM students €2,50
UM employees and students from other schools €6,25
Others €12,50