We are in a period of transition; but transition towards what?
Civilization has brought us no shortage of wonders; from technological marvels in the form of smartphones and the internet, to a saturation of comforts and culture to satisfy all of our wants and desires. Yet paradoxically many of us the world over report growing feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Evolutionary psychologists have claimed our modern brains are designed for life in the Stone Age, while the long boom in everything seems to be over-saturating our lives with more information than we could ever hope to process.
Does this lend credence to the idea that civilization is a distortion of our natural state, leaving us bitterly discontented? Are we happiest round a fire and under the stars or is this a romantic delusion?
In this new debate from the Institute of Art and Ideas, BBC science broadcaster and author of Secret Life of Trees Colin Tudge, Royal Holloway philosopher Rebecca Roache and award-winning science fiction author Richard K. Morgan debate technology, civilization and discontent.
This video was produced by The Institute of Art and Ideas in association with the British Humanist Association and is republished here with permission. It was filmed at HowTheLightGetsIn 2016 alongside 200 other debates and talks, all available for free at IAI TV. Their new podcast, Philosophy for our times, is available here.