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- DescriptionThroughout history, humanity has been seen as being in need of improvement, most pressingly in need of moral improvement. Today, in what has been called the beginnings of the golden age of neuroscience, laboratory findings claim to offer insights into how the brain does morality, even suggesting that it is possible to make people more moral by manipulating their biology. Can moral bioenhancement -- using techlogical or pharmaceutical means to boost the morally desirable and remove the morally problematic -- bring about a morally improved humanity? In The Myth of the Moral Brain, Harris Wiseman argues that moral functioning is immeasurably complex, mediated by biology but t determined by it. Morality cant be engineered; there is such thing as a moral brain. Wiseman takes a distinctively interdisciplinary approach, drawing on insights from philosophy, biology, theology, and clinical psychology. He considers philosophical rationales for moral enhancement, and the practical realities they come up against; recent empirical work, including studies of the cognitive and behavioral effects of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine; and traditional moral education, in particular the influence of religious thought, belief, and practice. Arguing that morality involves many interacting elements, Wiseman proposes an integrated bio-psycho-social approach to the consideration of moral enhancement. Such an approach would show that, by virtue of their sheer numbers, social and environmental factors are more important in shaping moral functioning than the neurobiological factors with which they are interwoven.
- Author BiographyHarris Wiseman received his PhD from the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Education and University College London.
- Author(s)Harris Wiseman
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication11/03/2016
- Series TitleBasic Bioethics
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Weight590 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine17 mm
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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