Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil

Voorkant
Crown, 12 nov 2013 - 288 pagina's
18 Recensies
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A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone.

From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates.†Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths†into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice.

Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race.

In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies.

Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - steve02476 - LibraryThing

Very nice discussion about the origins of morality, what parts are instinctual and what parts are learned. Bloom is a great writer and this is an interesting subject. Volledige review lezen

LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - Skybalon - LibraryThing

Really 3.5 stars. Some very interesting research that has some interesting potential consequences. But that's just the first 1/2 of the book. Then there is a general discussion of the origins of ... Volledige review lezen

Inhoudsopgave

Other Books by This Author
EMPATHY AND COMPASSION
FAIRNESS STATUS AND PUNISHMENT
OTHERS
BODIES
FAMILY MATTERS
HOW TO BE GOOD
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2013)

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. He is the author or editor of six books, including the acclaimed How Pleasure Works. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, and his scientific and popular articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Nature, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Science, Slate, The Best American Science Writing, and many other publications. He lives in New Haven with his wife and two sons. Visit his website at paulbloomatyale.com and follow him on Twitter at @paulbloomatyale.

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