Videos by topic: Conversations

The Way We Live Our Lives in Stories

Jonathan Gottschall

We think of stories as a wildly creative art form but within that creativity and that diversity there is a lot of conformity. Stories are very predictable. No matter where you go in the world, no matter how different people seem, no matter how hard their lives are, people tell stories, universally, and universally the stories are more or less like ours: the same basic human obsessions, and the same basic structure. The structure comes down to: stories have a character, the character has a predicament or a problem—they're always problem-focused—and the character tries to solve the problem. In its most basic terms, that's what a story is—a problem solution narrative. 

JONATHAN GOTTSCHALL is a Distinguished Research Fellow in the English Department at Washington & Jefferson College. He is the author or editor of six books, including The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (a New York Times Editor’s Choice Selection and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize). Jonathan Gottschall's Edge Bio Page

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What is your Question from SciFoo 2013?

Questions from
Tyler Cowen, Joseph "Yossi" Vardi, Carl Page, Fiery Cushman, Lee Smolin, Linda Stone, Paul Davies, Paul J. Steinhardt, Peter Norvig, Richard Potts, Steve Fuller, Stuart Firestein

Questions from Sci Foo 2013

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A Conversation with
Steven Pinker, Marcy Kahan

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