By Marc Hauser
In his groundbreaking booklet, Marc Hauser places forth a innovative new conception: that people have advanced a common ethical intuition, unconsciously propelling us to convey judgments of correct and incorrect self sustaining of gender, schooling, and faith. Combining his state of the art learn with the most recent findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative conception vis-?-vis modern bioethics, faith, the legislation, and our daily lives.
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Additional info for Moral Minds: The Nature of Right and Wrong (P.S.)
There is no reason to assume that our sense of justice can be adequately characterized by familiar common sense precepts, or derived from the more obvious learning principles. 36 In parallel with the linguist’s use of grammaticality judgments to uncover some of the principles of language competence, students of moral behavior might begin by using ethicality judgments to uncover some of the principles underlying our judgments of morally permissible actions. Grammaticality judgments are delivered spontaneously, rapidly, and with little to no reﬂection.
I can’t imagine ever making love with my sister if I had one. Incest seems morally wrong, whereas toilet seat–licking W H AT ’ S W RO N G ? 23 seems simply gross! If someone worked out a newfangled, self-cleaning toilet seat, and the Board of Health told the public that it was now okay to eat off these seats, it probably wouldn’t take too long before people converted. On the other hand, if our medical health boards decided that contraception was foolproof, thereby eliminating the conception risks of intercourse among siblings, most of us would presumably still balk at the thought, contraceptives or not.
Some aspects of the language faculty are therefore unique to language, and some are shared with other systems. Once the system detects that we are in a language mode, either planning to produce an utterance or listening to one, a system of rules is engaged, organizing meaningless sound sequences (phonemes) into meaningful words, phrases, and sentences, and enabling conversation either as internal monologue or external dialogue. When we speak about the language faculty, therefore, we are speaking about the normal, mature individual’s competence with the principles that underlie their native language.