terça-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2010

Patricia Churchland - Morality and the Mammalian Brain


Self-caring neural circuitry embodies self-preservation values, and these are values in the most elemental sense. Whence caring for others?

Social problem-solving, including policy-making, is probably an instance of problem-solving more generally, and draws upon the capacity, prodigious in humans, to envision consequences of a planned action. In humans, it also draws upon the capacity for improving upon current practices and technologies.

Unlike other mammals, humans have developed highly complex language, and highly complex cultures. This means that our sociality, and consequently ours systems of ethical values, have become correspondingly complex.

Professor Patricia Smith Churchland is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and an adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute.

Her current work focuses on morality and the social brain. She has been President of the American Philosophical Association and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and won a MacArthur Prize in 1991 and the Rossi Prize in 2008.