Moral first aid for a neuroscientific age
The rise of neuroscience brings hope to many people because its proponents and practitioners promise to resolve — somehow, at some time — many, if not most, of the ailments with which human experience is constantly consumed. From dealing with the horrors of cognitive debilitation to reveling in the wonder of understanding the most complex entity in the known universe (the human brain), neuroscientists, neurophilosophers, and neuro-enthusiasts believe a robust theory of the brain and nervous systems will bring not only practical utility but peace of mind and peace among people. Such hopes are inextricably moral. Yet our moral development has rarely if ever kept pace with our scientific and technical development. As we venture into the still largely unknown landscape of the human nervous systems, the need for a philosophical reconstruction of key human concepts becomes ever more urgent. Given the growing neuro-hype that surrounds the deluge of neuroscientific data, especially when it comes to the neuroscientific investigation of morality, a reconstruction of ethics — one that embraces both the historical development of ethical theories and the recent scientific investigations into whether and how various ethical theories operate in the brain — provides a platform from which to reach new moral vistas.
Solymosi, T. (2014)., Moral first aid for a neuroscientific age, in T. Solymosi & J. Shook (eds.), Neuroscience, neurophilosophy and pragmatism, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 291-317.
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