It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? In this Science Café, Dr. Kurt Gray will explore how minds—while incredibly important—are a matter of perception. This can explain why we love some animals and eat others, why people debate the existence of God so intensely, how good people can be so cruel, and why robots make for bad romance. By investigating the minds of animals, machines, and the dead, Dr. Gray reveals what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER
Kurt Gray is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC. He was almost a geophysicist but a night trapped in the Canadian wilderness convinced him otherwise. He leads the Mind Perception and Morality lab, which studies topics including the structure of morality, how good deeds can make us strong, how nakedness makes us seem dumb, and the psychology of torture. He has received multiple early career awards and is the co-author of the mass-market paperback “The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters.”