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.
- Clifford Ando and Jörg Rüpke bring history and sociology into a shared focus.
- The 2013-14 Annual report is available to download.
- October 10, 2014Patricia Brosseau-Liard's (GC 08-09) study of kindergarten kids showed that there is a big difference in the ability of four and five year-olds in determining when adults are lying.
- October 09, 2014Dr. Judith G. Hall, OC, Emerita Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, UBC and Foundation Fellow of the College, is one of six inductees honoured at the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in London, Ontario.