The Science of Morality, Part 1

photo credit: <a href=''>wallyg</a> via <a href=''>photopin</a> <a href=''>cc</a>

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc


How do we know right from wrong? For centuries, religion and philosophy tried to provide answers. Now psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology are weighing in. What can science tell us about our moral beliefs? And where, exactly, do morals come from? Science journalist Dan Falk investigates.

Guests on the program:

Paul Bloom, Yale University

Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology

Patricia Churchland, University of California, San Diego

Frans de Waal, Emory University/Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Joshua Greene, Harvard

Jonathan Haidt, NYU

Sam Harris

Liane Young, Boston College

Reading List:

Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality by Patricia Churchland. Published by Princeton University Press, 2011.

The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal. Published by Emblem Editions, 2010.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. Published by Pantheon, 2012.

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris. Published by Free Press, 2010.

Related Websites:

The Trolley Problem
A discussion of the "trolley problem," with diagrams, can be found on Joshua Greene's home page:

Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Sam Harris TED Talk - Science Can Answer Moral Questions

Dan Falk

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