Tag Archives: Cognitive science

The new science of morality

Edge's John Brockman and the nine speakers in the New Science of Morality Seminar

This last week saw the latest Edge Seminar – The New Science of Morality – held in the US. (see Edge: THE NEW SCIENCE OF MORALITY).

This looks fascinating.  Nine leading researchers in the field gave presentations. Short abstracts are on the Edge site together with videos of the presentations. Transcripts of the presentations will be on line soon.

Morality is an area which religion has tried to ring fence, to claim a special role. But, as with anything else the “god did it” approach gets nowhere. Now the field is being actively researched and there is progress.

The nine researchers who gave presentations were Roy Baumeister, Paul Bloom, Joshua D. Greene, Jonathan Haidt, Sam Harris, Marc D. Hauser, Joshua Knobe, Elizabeth Phelps, David Pizarro.

There is information on the work and background of these researchers below the fold:

Continue reading

Metaphysically speaking

Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci has an interesting article over at Rationally Speaking. Entitled Ah, metaphysics! it criticises attempts to revive metaphysics in philosophy.phil-fieldtrip

I too am sceptical at the way “metaphysics” is used. While I can appreciate the concept of understanding underlying principles the word is often used to justify “supernatural” ideas. Or to justify positions without recourse to empirical testing. Even to argue that “metaphysical” knowledge is somehow “better” or more reliable than scientific knowledge.

Continue reading