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In his groundbreaking book, Marc Hauser puts forth a revolutionary new theory: that humans have evolved a universal moral instinct, unconsciously propelling us to deliver judgments of right and wrong independent of gender, education, and religion. Combining his cutting-edge research with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative theory vis-a-vis contemporary bioethics, religion, the law, and our everyday lives.
“About one of the hottest new topics in intellectual life: the psychology and biology of morals. . . fascinating.”
-Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works
“An account of the nature of the human moral organ . . . a lucid, expert and challenging introduction.”
-Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT
“An intellectual feast that provokes thought and should stimulate critical reflection . . . a major contribution to an ongoing debate.”
-Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University
“The most complete attempt to bring together philosophy, anthropology, cognitive science and neuroscience... daring and wise.”
-Antonio Damasio, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Southern California
“The scientific exploration of morality has advanced at a breathtaking pace… [an] enjoyable book.”
-Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics
“For a wide audience...a superb overview of one of the hottest topics in the life sciences...a treat.”
“An audacious claim about moral thought...highly accessible to a general audience...a deeply significant intellectual contribution.”
“Unlikely to disappoint.”
-Nicholas Wade, New York Times
“Pathbreaking... relevant to some of the most fundamental contemporary debates in philosophy and public life.”
-New York Review of Books