Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality
Patricia Smith Churchland, professor emerita of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute, coined “neurophilosophy,” to refer to the application of neuroscientific concepts to traditional philosophical questions. In Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality, Churchland asks where values come from, and incorporates biological sciences with philosophy to answer the related moral questions.
In the first chapter, Churchland criticizes current conceptions of morality by asking why there are still unanswered fundamental questions in the field, including questions surrounding the nature of fairness. She believes that contemporary moral philosophy is “in peril of floating on a sea of mere, albeit confident, opinion” (p. 2) and has no relation to the current scientific findings in evolutionary biology and neuroscience. She suggests that we can answer some of the remaining moral questions by combining new findings in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, experimental psychology, and genetics within a philosophical framework. … Read the rest here.