Patricia Churchland and the state of the science on morality
June 24, 2011 5:17 PM Subscribe
"If you look at a lot of the work that's been done on scientific approaches to morality—books written for a lay audience—it's been about evolutionary psychology. And what we get again and again is a story about the importance of evolved tendencies to be altruistic. That's a report on a particular pattern of behavior, and an evolutionary story to explain the behavior. But it's not an account of the underlying mechanism. The idea that science has moved to a point where we can see two animals working together toward a collective end and know the brain mechanism that allows that is an extraordinary achievement." Nevertheless, Prinz says, how to move from the possibility of collective action to "the specific human institution of moral rules is a bit of connective tissue that she isn't giving us."
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