Saturday, April 30, 2016

How Brains Make Moral Judgements (inspiration, process)

This is Rebecca Saxe, cognitive neuroscientist, talking about what really interests me at the moment: cognitive science, science of the mind--and the human capacity to think about other people's thoughts.

"...the crux of the problem is the machine that we use for thinking about other minds, our brain, is made up of pieces, brain cells, that we share with all other animals, with monkeys and mice and even sea slugs. And yet, you put them together in a particular network, and what you get is the capacity to write Romeo and Juliet. Or to say, as Alan Greenspan did, "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." 


"Until recently, what we knew about the brain were the things that any other animal's brain could do too, so we could study it in animal models. We knew how brains see, and how they control the body and how they hear and sense. And the whole project of understanding how brains do the uniquely human things -- learn language and abstract concepts, and thinking about other people's thoughts -- that's brand new. And we don't know yet what the implications will be of understanding it."

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