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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.
One of the great enigmas of humanity is why we have such a devastating capacity for evil as well as such an enormous ability to do good. What makes some people commit violent harm, while others risk their lives to help those they may not even know? Now, to explore and navigate this essential question of human behavior, the editors at TIME bring you the special edition 'The Science of Good and Evil.' You'll examine "The Roots of Good and Evil," and consider the capacity for morality in animals. Then consider "What Makes Us Moral" by looking at the seemingly innate moral compass of human children and the role that nurturing plays in developing it. Follow modern neuroscience deep into the brain to see what it can tell us about where good and evil behavior might reside and what role genuine love plays in their development. Through it all, visit and analyze tales of senseless acts of violence and the profound acts of selflessness that occur in their wake. As destructive technologies and artificial intelligence continue to develop and strengthen, there has never been a more important time to understand the nature of our capacity for good and evil.
The Socratic Turn addresses the question of whether we can acquire genuine knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong. Reputedly, Socrates was the first philosopher to make the attempt. But Socrates was a materialistic natural scientist in his youth, and it was only much later in life—after he had rejected materialistic natural science—that he finally turned, around the age of forty, to the examination of ordinary moral and political opinions, or to moral-political philosophy so understood. Through a consideration of Plato's account of Socrates' intellectual development, and with a view to relevant works of the pre-Socratics, Xenophon, Aristotle, Hesiod, Homer, and Aristophanes, Dustin Sebell reproduces the course of thought that carried Socrates from materialistic natural science to moral-political philosophy. By doing so, he seeks to recover an all but forgotten approach to the question of justice, one still worthy of being called scientific.
This timely, accessible reference and text addresses some of the most fundamental questions about human behavior, such as what causes racism and prejudice and why good people do bad things. Leading authorities present state-of-the-science theoretical and empirical work. Essential themes include the complex interaction of individual, societal, and situational factors underpinning good or evil behavior; the role of moral emotions, unconscious bias, and the self-concept; issues of responsibility and motivation; and how technology and globalization have enabled newer forms of threat and harm. New to This Edition *Many new authors; extensively revised with the latest theory and research. *Section on group perspectives, with chapters on bystanders to emergencies, remembering historical victimization, organizational dynamics, and globalization and terrorism. *Chapters on free will, conscious versus unconscious processes, media violence, dehumanization, genocide, and sexual violence. *Chapters on false moral superiority, compassionate goals in relationships, and moral emotions in incarcerated offenders.
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.
A new translation and edition of Nietzsche's powerful and influential critique of philosophy.

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