2411 - Prophets of the 2nd Axial Age and How to Join Them
The Axial Age is the name given to the period when prophets rose up independently around the world, laying the foundations of philosophy and contemporary world religions. These prophets collectively established a paradigm shift in human civilization. Our present day is at the cusp of a second axial age. Using results from contemporary research that show that natural selection favors cooperation, this class will consider the conditions that led to the first Axial Age, and use these patterns to order developments in the modern, post-Renaissance period. We will then propose a model to describe the 2nd Axial Age, and discuss those identified as its prophets. Examples begin with Adam Smith and Alexis de Toqueville, include Albert Einstein and his colleagues, and end with a cluster of contemporary researchers in the neurosciences, evolutionary anthropology, and positive psychology, including Viktor Frankl, Barbara Fredrickson, Martin Nowak, and Jonathan Haidt. Facilitated Discussion Viewing Videos
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