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Posts tagged ‘Why We Care about Chimpanzees: The Origins of Human Morality’

Guest Post @ Scientific American: Morality and Chimpanzees

My latest at the Scientific American guest blog.

Chimpanzee research is a hot topic this summer; it has been discussed on the big screen, in the New York Times, and in the science blogosphere. The debate is complicated; there are government funding issues, several ethical dilemmas to consider, and potential benefits to human health at stake. However, all of the discourse boils down to a simple question: what are the moral parameters of chimpanzee research?

It is a riveting debate, no doubt, and I think that addressing moral questions head-on is necessary. But as a philosophy major, I also know that pondering and arguing the moral qualifications and conditions of an action can be endless, tiring, and dry. That is why I am interested in a much deeper, and much more fascinating question: Why are human beings so moral?

I interviewed Yale psychologist Paul Bloom for the article. He had some interesting things to say. Check out Bloom’s Tedtalk here, and latest book here.

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