Politics and an innate moral sense: Scientific evidence for an old theory?

  • Monroe K
  • Martin A
  • Ghosh P
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Abstract

Part of a symposium arguing for increased interdisciplinary conversations, this article suggests how political scientists can benefit from recent scientific work in child development, evolutionary biology, behavioral economics, primatology, and linguistics. All offer empirical evidence suggesting human beings are born with a moral grammar hard-wired into their neural circuitry. The analysis challenges claims for cultural relativity and suggests psychological egoism and rational choice theory leave unexplained much political behavior because they rest on too narrow a conceptualization of basic human nature, omitting precisely the sociability that moral sense theory places as a fundamental part of our human nature.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Economics
  • Evolution
  • Intuition
  • Moral sense theory
  • Morality
  • Neuroscience

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Authors

  • Kristen Renwick Monroe

  • Adam Martin

  • Priyanka Ghosh

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