Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:30pm
Reading: Prof. Paul Bloom “How Pleasure Works”
Sponsored by: Best Video Performance Space
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field.
Dr. Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of three books, including How Children Learn the Meanings of Words, Descartes’ Baby, and How Pleasure Works.
His newest book, Just Babies: The origins of good and evil, is coming out in 2013.
On Wednesday, Dr. Bloom will talk about how our beliefs and expectations influence our experiences. One main moral of this is that even the most seemingly simple pleasures—like food and sex—are actually surprisingly complicated.
Dr. Bloom’s book How Pleasure Works was reviewed by Robin Marantz Henig in The New York Times Book Review on June 24, 2010. An excerpt from her review:
For heaven’s sake, we’re only on Chapter 2, and already we’re deep into cannibalism, compounded by a suicidal-masochistic impulse. Still to come are such topics as rubber vomit, human grimacing contests and monkey pornography.
But stick with it and trust the author, Paul Bloom, to use these weird digressions to get us someplace interesting. Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, has written a book that is different from the slew already out there on the general subject of happiness. No advice here about how to become happier by organizing your closets; Bloom is after something deeper than the mere stuff of feeling good. He analyzes how our minds have evolved certain cognitive tricks that help us negotiate the physical and social world — and how those tricks lead us to derive pleasure in some rather unexpected places.
The Best Video Coffee Bar will be open with a fine selection of delicious snacks and refreshments, including Willoughby’s coffee. The Best Video Coffee Bar is now also licensed to sell wine and beer. Admission—as for all of Best Video’s Performance Space events—is free.
Best Video is located at 1842 Whitney Ave. in Hamden. Phone (203) 287-9286.
- Admission: Free
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