April 26, 2019
Zephyr Institute

Prophet of Envy: An Introduction to René Girard

In this Zephyr Salon, Ms. Cynthia Haven explained the significance of René Girard's intellectual contributions and shared anecdotes that gave us a glimpse of who he really was.

Time & Location

April 26, 2019
Zephyr Institute
560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA


In her latest book, Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard, literary critic Cynthia Haven delivered an insightful introduction to one of the most influential thinkers of our time, René Girard. A historian, literary critic, and philosopher of sociology, Girard is best known for his theory of mimetic desire, which holds that “human behavior is driven by imitation.” We desire things because others desire them.  This explanatory theory has broad implications for our understanding of modern conflict, the economy, and even the rise of Silicon Valley.


In this Zephyr Salon, Ms. Haven introduced us to Girard, whom she knew toward the end of his life. She explained the significance of his intellectual contributions and shared stories from his life that revealed more about the man he really was. 




Author and 2018/19 National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar

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