hardwired behavior what neuroscience reveals about morality

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Hardwired Behavior

Author : Laurence Tancredi
ISBN : 0521860016
Genre : Medical
File Size : 43. 22 MB
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Argues that the concepts of social morality and individual responsibility begin in the brain.

Neuroethics

Author : Judy Illes
ISBN : 0198567219
Genre : Medical
File Size : 58. 10 MB
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Recent advances in the brain sciences have dramatically improved our understanding of brain function. As we find out more and more about what makes us tick, we must stop and consider the ethical implications of this new found knowledge. Will having a new biology of the brain through imaging make us less responsible for our behavior and lose our free will? Should certain brain scan studies be disallowed on the basis of moral grounds? Why is the media so interested in reporting results of brain imaging studies? What ethical lessons from the past can best inform the future of brain imaging? These compelling questions and many more are tackled by a distinguished group of contributors to this, the first-ever volume on neuroethics. The wide range of disciplinary backgrounds that the authors represent, from neuroscience, bioethics and philosophy, to law, social and health care policy, education, religion and film, allow for profoundly insightful and provocative answers to these questions, and open up the door to a host of new ones. The contributions highlight the timeliness of modern neuroethics today, and assure the longevity and importance of neuroethics for generations to come.

The Scientific American Brave New Brain

Author : Judith Horstman
ISBN : 0470602813
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 52. 73 MB
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This fascinating and highly accessible book presents fantastic but totally feasible projections of what your brain may be capable of in the near future. It shows how scientific breakthroughs and amazing research are turning science fiction into science fact. In this brave new book, you'll explore: How partnerships between biological sciences and technology are helping the deaf hear, the blind see, and the paralyzed communicate. How our brains can repair and improve themselves, erase traumatic memories How we can stay mentally alert longer—and how we may be able to halt or even reverse Alzheimers How we can control technology with brain waves, including prosthetic devices, machinery, computers—and even spaceships or clones. Insights into how science may cure fatal diseases, and improve our intellectual and physical productivity Judith Horstman presents a highly informative and entertaining look at the future of your brain, based on articles from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, and the work of today’s visionary neuroscientists.

Braintrust

Author : Patricia S. Churchland
ISBN : 9781400889389
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 40. 36 MB
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What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality. Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider "caring" circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality. A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.

The Science Of Good And Evil

Author : Michael Shermer
ISBN : 1429996757
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 29. 5 MB
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From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore) A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the very nature of humanity. In The Science of Good and Evil, science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates; how and why morality motivates the human animal; and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. Along the way he explains the implications of scientific findings for fate and free will, the existence of pure good and pure evil, and the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.

Can We Be Good Without God

Author : Robert Buckman
ISBN : 9781615922772
Genre : Religion
File Size : 68. 57 MB
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Reading this small, well-written book can enlighten us in our attempt to think critically and act rationally ... could help protect the world from the kinds of horrors we have seen in the twentieth century.-Free InquiryRecent neurological studies have shown that there are regions of the brain that seem predisposed to create beliefs. Are we hardwired to believe? And if so, why do beliefs sometimes inspire major contributions to society, while on other occasions they precipitate horrendous acts of destruction?In this provocative and stimulating study of the connection between belief and behavior, Dr. Robert Buckman begins by reviewing the history of religious belief, showing the many shared themes among religions of diverse cultures. He then explains little-publicized data from neuroscience on the limbic system and the right-hand temporal lobe of the brain, which when stimulated consistently produces deep-seated spiritual feelings. Recent experiments reveal that this portion of the brain may underlie the development of many common religious beliefs, and perhaps the more aggressive and destructive behaviors associated with some of them. Buckman also summarizes evidence regarding pheromones and their effect on the limbic system, as a possible mechanism for certain types of crowd behavior, whether in a religious or secular context.Finally, considering the long historical relationship between religion and ethics, Buckman asks whether we can develop better, nontheistic belief systems that avoid the destructive aspects of traditional religious beliefs. He then describes ways in which we can become aware of, and perhaps, correct our ôlimbic urgesö when they threaten to lead to destructive behavior. This ambitious work, covering important areas of social anthropology, comparative religion, neurology, and psychology, provides many insights into the mechanisms of belief.Robert Buckman, M.D. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a cancer specialist, professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, the current president of the Humanist Association of Canada, and the author (with Karl Sabbagh) of Magic or Medicine?

Moral Tribes

Author : Joshua David Greene
ISBN : 9780143126058
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 77. 97 MB
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A path-breaking neuroscientist explores how globalization has illuminated the deep moral divisions between opposing sides, drawing on pioneering research to reveal the evolutionary sources of morality while outlining recommendations for bridging divided cultures.

Just Babies

Author : Paul Bloom
ISBN : 9780307886866
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 47. 51 MB
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A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives. From the Hardcover edition.

Law And The Brain

Author : Oliver R. Goodenough
ISBN : 9780198570110
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 42. 35 MB
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The past 20 years have seen unparalleled advances in neurobiology, with findings from neuroscience being used to shed light on a range of human activities - many historically the province of those in the humanities and social sciences - aesthetics, emotion, consciousness, music. Applying this new knowledge to law seems a natural development - the making, considering, and enforcing of law of course rests on mental processes. However, where some of those activities can be studied with a certain amount of academic detachment, what we discover about the brain has considerable implications for how we consider and judge those who follow or indeed flout the law - with inevitable social and political consequences. There are real issues that the legal system will face as neurobiological studies continue to relentlessly probe the human mind - the motives for our actions, our decision making processes, and such issues as free will and responsibility. This volume represents a first serious attempt to address questions of law as reflecting brain activity, emphasizing that it is the organization and functioning of the brain that determines how we enact and obey laws. It applies the most recent developments in brain science to debates over criminal responsibility, cooperation and punishment, deception, moral and legal judgment, property, evolutionary psychology, law and economics, and decision-making by judges and juries. Written and edited by leading specialists from a rangeof disciplines, the book presents a groundbreaking and challenging new look at human behaviour.

The Moral Foundation Of Economic Behavior

Author : David C. Rose
ISBN : 9780199339853
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 81. 84 MB
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This book explains why moral beliefs can and likely do play an important role in the development and operation of market economies. It provides new arguments for why it is important that people genuinely trust others-even those whom they know don't particularly care about them-because in key circumstances institutions are incapable of combating opportunism. It then identifies specific characteristics that moral beliefs must have for the people who possess them to be regarded as trustworthy. When such moral beliefs are held with sufficient conviction by a sufficiently high proportion of the population, a high trust society emerges that supports maximum cooperation and creativity while permitting honest competition at the same time. Such moral beliefs are not tied to any particular religion and have nothing to do with moral earnestness or the set of moral values-what matters is how they affect the way people think about morality. Such moral beliefs are based on abstract ideas that must be learned so they are matters of culture, not genes, and are therefore able to explain differences in economic performance across societies.

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