Monday, April 17, 2006

The Ethical Brain

I've been following mirror neurons (1,2), especially as they relate to the ideas of Hume and other moral sense theorists. Another reference on the subject:

The American Journal of Psychiatry reviews The Ethical Brain by Dartmouth cognitive neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga:

"Gazzaniga concludes his book with a discussion of how human empathy originates. He thinks it is likely that 'mirror neurons' give a person the ability to put himself in another’s place and to figure out what the other person would want in a given situation. Gazzaniga sees this neurologically grounded empathy as the basis for certain universal ethical principles. He believes that an understanding of those ethical principles all people carry inside will help people of different religions and belief systems to get along, even when they do not agree about individual ethical issues."



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