We are awash in words and images from marketers, politicians, pop stars, and online outrage merchants, all trying — and often succeeding — to manipulate human desires for their purposes. Why does this work? In the 20th century, an innovative Catholic thinker argued that the desire to imitate one another is what drives us, in areas of life ranging from friendship to war and peace. How do we escape this trap, and pursue moral formation that helps us want the right things?

Luke Burgis will join us to investigate how our desires are formed, the subject of his book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life. Praised by such diverse thinkers as Jonathan Haidt, Adam Grant, Tyler Cowan, and Arthur Brooks, Burgis explores philosopher René Girard’s powerful argument, and ways we can counteract the lure of imitation in our society and ourselves.

We invite you to join us for an Online Conversation with Luke Burgis, on July 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET, to discuss why we want what we want.

Thank you to our co-hosts, the Archbridge Institute and the Ciocca Center, for their support of this event!

Why Do We Want What We Want?: An Conversation with Luke Burgis


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