A scientific platform for morality
Michael De Dora
Posted on April 23, 2011
Lena Groeger writes about Patricia Churchland’s take on science and morality on the blog Rationally Speaking:
[According to Patricia Churchland] these basic dispositions — to extend care to others, to want to belong, to be distressed by separation — constitute the motivation for animals to find solutions to social problems.
But Churchland is adamant in pointing out that a neural platform for morality is only the platform. The rest of the scaffolding — the culture in which these brains live — is still very much being worked out. As she writes in her book: “There is no simple set of steps to take us from ‘I care, I value’ to the best solution to specific moral problems, especially those problems that arise within complex cultures. It’s a messy practical business.”