Our instincts don't always serve us well. Moral psychologist Joshua Greene explains why, in the modern world, we need to figure out when to put our sense of right and wrong in manual mode.
Tiffany O’Callaghan: You say morality is more than it evolved to be. What do you mean? Joshua Greene: Morality is essentially a suite of psychological mechanisms that enable us to cooperate. But, biologically at least, we only evolved to cooperate in a tribal way. Individuals who were more moral—more cooperative with those around them—could outcompete others who were not. However, we have the capacity to take a step back from this and ask what a more global morality would look like. Why are the lives of people on the other side of the world worth any less than those in my immediate community? Going through that reasoning process can allow our moral thinking to do something it never evolved to.
Are you satisfied with your life? How are you feeling? Does either question tell us what we really want to know?
I would suggest that when we talk about happiness, we are actually referring, much of the time, to a complex emotional phenomenon. Call it emotional well-being. Happiness as emotional well-being concerns your emotions and moods, more broadly your emotional condition as a whole. To be happy is to inhabit a favorable emotional state.
(Phys.org) —Quantum criticality, the strange electronic state that may be intimately related to high-temperature superconductivity, is notoriously difficult to study. But a new discovery of 'quantum critical points' could allow physicists to develop a classification scheme for quantum criticality—the ...
Once upon a time, you were probably on an elementary school field trip at a science museum or an observatory. Just before lunch, your teacher had the class stand in a circle around an enormous weight suspended on a string, and watch it swing back and forth, back and forth.
Are we, the human species, unreasonable? Do rational arguments have any power to sway us, or is it all intuition, hidden motivations, and various other forms of prejudice? The answer isn't simple, but we may not be irrational creatures after all.
Could quantum mechanics save the soul? In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible? Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists
Could quantum mechanics save the soul? In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible?
Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists (and pretenders to those titles) – but neuroscientist Peter Clarke argues that it’s just not happening, in an interesting new paper: Neuroscience, quantum indeterminism and the Cartesian soul
Clarke first outlines the dualism of Rene Descartes, who famously believed in an immaterial human soul separate from the brain, and responsible for rational thought. But this implied that an immaterial soul could break the laws of physics, and affect some physical processes in the brain, in order to control our actions. Even in the 17th century, this was regarded as a bit much:
Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia (oldest daughter of King James VI), wrote: “…it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the soul, than to concede the capacity to move a body and to be moved by it to an immaterial thing.”
But the 20th century gave new life to dualism. Quantum theory taught that physics is non-deterministic on the smallest scales; most famously, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that we can’t know the exact properties of any particle for sure – only the probability of finding a certain kind of particle in a certain place.
Eight years ago professor of global health Hans Rosling delivered a TED talk that remains one of the most viewed TED talks of all time. This month at the Nordic Media Festival, Rosling gave a spell binding hour long talk (which you can view at the bottom of this post) that expands upon his earlier ...
It has long been held as one of the chief tenants of modern transhumanist thought: the ability to utilize technology to achieve whole-brain mapping. Once the labyrinth of the mind has been conquered, untold realms may await us, forever changing the fields of neuroscience, psychology, learning, and the very development of human thought. In the 2014 film Transcendance, actor Johnny Depp plays a scientist who, after being mortally injured by anti-science extremists, becomes the subject of a radical new technology that successfully uploads his entire mind into a computer; and thus, all hell breaks loose as the film's protagonists rush to try and stop the seemingly limitless intelligence of Depp's trans-human essence from destroying the world. While the reproduction of human minds and thought processes may be a long way off, a group of MIT researchers working alongside the University of Vienna have managed to innovate a new system of imaging that can generate 3-D videos of entire brai
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