Patricia Churchland: The Biological Origins of Morality

Patricia Churchland is a philosopher, a pioneer in the field of neurophilosophy — a field that considers philosophical problems in the light of scientific knowledge about the functioning of the human brain. Churchland starts from the assumption that our mental processes have a basis in neurobiological mechanisms. In his latest book, Conscience The Origins of Moral Intuition, he concludes that conscience is also a consequence of the evolutionary development of the brain, and that certain moral intuitions are not the only ones possessed by humans. Churchland is a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego and, since 2015, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Graphics Screenshot

Neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland brings an unusual perspective on where morality comes from, and with it solidarity and caring for others. When examining the functioning of the brain, it finds its source not only in religion, education and social ethics, but also in biological processes and evolution. An important related discovery is that these abilities are not only given to humans. We also find them in other mammals and other animal species. What implications does this have for the functioning of society? The Canadian philosopher is joined by doctor David Adam.

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