Tonight! Still guilty at the Stanford Bookstore

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0804763615Herant Katchadourian will talk about guilt (what else?) at the Stanford Bookstore  tonight, at 6 p.m.  I wrote about Herant and his favorite topic last December, here.

Katchadourian, author of Guilt: The Bite of Conscience, is the first to study guilt from a wide variety of perspectives including those of psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, six major religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism), four key moral philosophers (Aristotle, Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Nietzsche), and the law.

Sounds heavy, but Katchadourian is fun. He is not against guilt — quite the contrary. He thinks it is “hardwired into us through evolution” and one of the ways of “maintaining ties with other people”:  “Excessive guilt is abnormal, but inadequate guilt makes you into a psychopath,” he said. “You shouldn’t overdo it, but there has to be an internal policeman.” He also notes that guilt is an equal opportunity employer:  it exists in all six major religions.  “This is not a monopoly — nobody has cornered the market.”

The event will include a reading and signing.


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