Marc Hauser on “Moral Minds”

Note: This interview was broadcast on WCAI/WNAN, and is also featured on WGBH’s Science Luminaries series, as part of WGBH Science City.
The provocative Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser recently spoke about “The Evolution of Our Moral Intuitions” at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. This ThoughtCast interview with Hauser serves as a good “first course” — but to get to the meat and potatoes, check out his book Moral Minds.
Click here: to listen. (17:40 minutes)
And to listen to Marc Hauser on the WGBH Forum Network, click here!

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4 Responses to Marc Hauser on “Moral Minds”

  1. Garrett October 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    read the book, he explains how it is evolutionarily beneficial.

  2. Dr. Carl Selnes (MSgt Ret.) June 10, 2007 at 2:16 am #

    Marc Hauser’s work is most gratifying. I spent 4 decades in field reasearch on the topics of morality and ethics. My book Hermeneutics: The Natural Roots of Morality was finally published in 1997, but took a slightly different approach. Nevertheless, I found the same tentative conclusions–Morality is Natural–derived from Nature and evolution.

  3. Blue Magruder April 23, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Thanks for the heads up on Marc Hauser’s talk. The lecture is free and open to the public..and the museum is just a 6 minute walk from the Harvard Square RedLine t-stop…just go through the gate into the Harvard Yard, and head toward the Science Center..the museum is just a hundred yards further down Oxford Street…huge brick building on the right.

  4. Joe April 20, 2007 at 7:00 pm #

    Hauser’s work is intriguing, but he didn’t really respond to the question about what evolutionary benefits might be derived from the possession of an innate moral grammar. If morality is hardwired into all of us after eons of evolution, presumably there’s a good reason for its being there. What is that?
    He also sidestepped the question about whether the standard difference in attitude toward throwing the switch v. throwing the man can simply be explained by our tendency to distance ourselves from violent acts (as in the knife/rifle preference). Or are we to infer that an innate moral sense naturally leads humans to prefer violence of an attenuated nature, when available?

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