Marc Hauser - Moral Minds

April 4, 2008

Marc Hauser is an evolutionary psychologist and biologist. He is Harvard College Professor and Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Harvard University. He is the author of a number of books, including The Evolution of Communication, Wild Minds: What Animals Think, and Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong.

In this interview with D.J. Grothe, Marc Hauser expounds his theory that morality has biological origins while challenging the common view that morality comes from God. He compares the human capacity for morality with Noam Chomsky's notion of a universal grammar, arguing that there is a "morality module" in the brain. He explains how his theory accounts for differences in morality across cultures, and discusses how morality could have evolved and what genetic benefit it might have afforded. He also explores the implications of his theory for the legal system, and for cultural institutions like religion and the family.

Books Mentioned in This Episode:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Moral Sense Test
Morality Without Religion (Free Inquiry)

Related Episodes

Steven Pinker - Evolutionary Psychology and Human Nature
February 23, 2007