开始时间: 10/07/2014 持续时间: 6 weeks
大学或机构: Yale University（耶鲁大学）
授课老师： Paul Bloom
How is it that we are capable of transcendent kindness—and unspeakable cruelty? How do we make sense of people’s strongly-held opinions about abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, and torture? How do evolution, culture, and religion conspire to shape our moral natures?
These are among the most important—and most exciting—questions around, and they are the focus of this course. We will explore the modern science of moral belief and moral action, drawing upon disciplines such as cognitive science, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy. We will look at research from the lab, from the community, and from the battlefield; we will discuss babies, monkeys, and psychopaths; we will debate claims about moral differences between men and women, liberals and conservatives, Christians and Muslims. This course will cover prejudice and bigotry, sexuality and purity; punishment, revenge, and forgiveness; and much much more.
Please note: This is a rough outline.
Week 1: The Big Questions
What is morality, anyway? What are the big debates in the field of moral psychology?
Week 2: Empathy
What role does empathy play in our moral lives? Is more empathy necessarily a good thing? And what can we learn from the study of those who seemingly lack normal moral feelings, such as violent psychopaths?
Week 3: Universals
Here, we ask about which aspects of morality are universal. We discuss evolution, cross-cultural research, and—most of all—the fascinating new science of the moral life of babies.
Week 4: Family, friends, and strangers
Our moral feelings are usually most powerful towards our kin (such as our parents and our children) and our friends and allies. We will discuss these special bonds, and use the tools of behavioral economics to explore the controversial question of whether we are ever truly altruistic to strangers.
Week 5: Differences
How does culture influence our moral thought and moral action? What role does religion play? Why are some of us conservative and others liberal, and how do political differences influence our sense of right and wrong?
Week 6: Situations
We’ll discuss some clever studies that show how our moral behavior is powerfully influenced—often at the unconscious level—by the situations that we find ourselves in. Such findings raise some hard problems about determinism, free will, and moral responsibility. Most of all, if our actions are determined by our brains, our genes, and our situations, in what sense can we be said to be moral agents? The course will end by trying to address this question.
How can we explain kindness and cruelty? Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Why do people so often disagree about moral issues? This course explores the psychological foundations of our moral lives.