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Neuro ergo sum?

It is beguiling to think brain science can help us tell right from wrong—and unlikely too

By Guy Kahane   March 2010

Neuro-imaging can now trace the processes that underlie our ability to tell right from wrong. It allows us to analyse the brain tissue of psychopaths, and to map the areas responsible for feeling guilt or indignation, charity and racial prejudice. Recent studies have identified brain areas sensitive to fairness, and even common neural pathways in the frontal and temporal lobes that are active whenever we make a moral response: brain areas that might embody our very “moral sense.” But what is unclear, and both worries and excites ethicists, is how these advances might change the way we think about ethics.

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