Professional philosophy news

The Moral Molecule

Southern California Public Radio talks with Paul Zak, Professor of Economics and Department Chair and the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate School, who has recently authored The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity. An audio interview is available here. In the book, Zak shows that artificially increasing people’s oxytocin levels makes them better people, and acting better naturally increases oxytocin levels. But, SCPR assures,

…the discovery of the “moral molecule” doesn’t mean that philosophers and theologians are out of business but only that any conversation about virtue and free will must take brain chemistry and physiology into consideration. Given Zak’s discovery, would it be moral to chemically alter people to make them more loving and generous? What is the role of religion and philosophy in our lives if we are governed more by chemistry and less by our own will?




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