Self-improvement is pervasive in human culture: it has inspired a vast trove of books, numerous industries, and countless resolutions. But how are our aspirations formed, and what are the best ways to pursue them? How do nature and nurture help us define and achieve our goals? Is the value of advice in the giving of it, or the receiving? The second event in the A Meeting of the Minds: Business and the Human series, sponsored by Chicago Booth and the University of Chicago’s Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, brought Booth’s Ayelet Fishbach, a psychologist, and University of Chicago’s Agnes Callard, a philosopher, together to consider these and other questions of personal development. Moderated by New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks, the discussion took advantage of each scholar’s academic perspective and expertise to examine how and why humans strive to improve themselves.


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