Braintrust

Patricia Churchland’s new book Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality is now out. I haven’t read it yet, but I know she has been talking about and researching this topic for a long time. I expect it to be a fun, interesting read. Her basic thesis is that morality is “rooted in a behavior common to all mammals–the caring for offspring” (quote from above site).

I saw her talk on similar issues (see YouTube video below). It has gotten me thinking about how far we can get by thinking of morality as care. It seems useful to think of moral progress and argumentation as resulting from considerations of how wide the sphere of our care should extend. For instance, should it extend to people in other countries, to other species, ecosystems, to fetuses? There is something right about this way of thinking about moral judgment.