Writing The Social Animal has been an exhilarating journey. “The scientists I’ve spent the last three years talking to are truth seekers, unlike people [in Washington]. They’re not technical materialists. They love Henry and William James. They’ve helped me see how the power of deep ideas changes the way you think. It was part of my idea to go down, down, down, to look at moral and spiritual creativity, the deepest issues. You learn the importance of culture, of history—some of the deep knowledge that comes from Plato and Aristotle. Philosophy and theology are telling us less than they used to. Scientists and researchers are leaping in where these disciplines atrophy—they’re all drilling down into an explanation of what man is.” The word “deep” comes up a lot when Brooks talks about his book. He wants to go where few journalists have gone before. “I have the sense it’s a big intellectual moment. You feel the heat. It’s like Silicon Valley in the ’90s.”
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