Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mother Teresa vs. Ayn Rand

SciAm writes about a study to be published in next month's Nature Neuroscience:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Altruism, one of the most difficult human behaviors to define, can be detected in brain scans, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.

They found activity in a specific area of the brain could predict altruistic behavior -- and people's own reports of how selfish or giving they are."


This continues a trend of philosophically troubling news from neuroscientists. Is it pointless to try to persuade some people to be kinder? How does one respond to the claim I'm not drawn that way?

Another philosophical implication of discoveries such as this is that, I believe, it strengthens the case of moral sense theorists such as Hutcheson, Hume, Smith and Locke--and in the modern day, thinkers such as E.O. Wilson.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home