TED Conversations

Damon Horowitz

In-House Philosopher, Google


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LIVE CHAT With Damon Horowitz: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right? June 8, 2011, 5-6PM EDT

Join us for a LIVE conversation with serial entrepreneur, philosophy professor, and Google Director of Engineering, Damon Horowitz.

This conversation will open at 5:00PM EDT, June 8th, 2011.

"I am curious to hear what prompts people to moral reflection and reconsideration: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right?"


Closing Statement from Damon Horowitz

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and experiences here. My TEDxSV talk was intended as a provocation for the technology industry in particular to reflect further upon our ethical decision making – but I am delighted to see that it has encouraged much broader discussion.

The prominent themes I hear in this conversation reinforce the value of education, experience, and humility in our moral development. So long as we continually challenge ourselves to question our beliefs, there is some small possibility that we will not always be wrong about what is right.

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  • Jun 8 2011: By far the first and most profound thing that caused me to question what I believed was my first philosophy class at college as a freshman. Changed my religious beliefs because of it, my outlook on life, my career goals, and eventually my friends. That was over 20 yeras ago. Now watching my teenage kids grow up and wondering what the world be like for them is cause for moral reflection.
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      Jun 8 2011: Delighted to hear that the philosophy class had the intended effect!

      One of the largest crises we are facing now as a society is the faltering status of the traditional liberal arts education, in favor of more immediate vocational training. The undergraduate years are a perfect time to engage tomorrow's leaders in the challenging questions of humanity... with the hope that this will help develop a sensibility that can better address the issues we are facing.

      It is also important that we continue to train scholars at the next level as well, and find ways to support graduate Humanities work -- as that is the level at which new insights are first developed. One of the challenges there is that the academic job market for young Humanities PhDs is, in a word, terrible. Yet increasingly there are opportunities for people with this background to have an impact in industry, to apply their skills and humanistic sensibility to evolving business practices and the like. Check out the recent BiblioTech conference at Stanford for a few great examples...
      • Jake C

        • +1
        Jun 8 2011: Just when I thought that I was the only person who believed in the traditional liberal arts education...Very encouraging words sir, thank you.

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