Where do moral values come from? A new understanding arises from the evolution of the mammalian brain. Although all animals have nervous system circuitry supporting care of self, in mammals this circuitry was extended and modified to include caring for others. In the first instance the others were offspring, and the neurohormone, oxytocin, was at the hub of attachment to and caring for others. When conditions favored group life, evolutionary modifications to the circuitry supported the extension of care beyond offspring to mates, to kin, and to friends. Humans, like other highly social mammals, are strongly motivated to be with group members and to share in their practices. Human moral behavior, while more complex than the social behaviour of other animals, depends on a similar neural platform, but is also shaped by the human capacity to solve problems, plan for the future and develop social institutions.
- Professor Airini gives the fifth talk in a special Green College lecture series on Ideas of the University in the Early 21st Century.
- February 03, 2015Don Hannah's one-woman show was performed at Green College in 2011 and received the Carol Bolt Award from the Playwrights Guild of Canada. The show begins a limited run next month in Halifax.
- January 29, 2015Applications are currently being accepted for one influential scholar, activist, artist, leader or practitioner for a 4-month residence