Friday, February 17, 2012

Braintrust What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality

I will post quotes from Patricia S. Churchland's book: Braintrust What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality

Page 2 (loc 87) So what is it to be fair?

Page 2 (loc 93) It did seem likely that Aristotle, Hume, and Darwin were right: we are social by nature

Page 3 (loc 99) By drawing on ... we can now meaningful approach the question of where values come from.

Page 3 (loc 103) My aim here is to explain what is probably true about our social nature, and what that involves in terms of the neural platform

Page 4 (loc 125) dunce's error of going from an is to an ought, from facts to values

Page 5 (loc 141) dimwitted inferences between descriptions and prescriptions

Page 6 (loc 153) finding good solutions to social problems often requires much wisdom, goodwill, negotiation, historical knowledge, and intelligence

Page 6 (loc 161)the conclusion must deductively follow from the premises with no mere probability ... Assuming the premises are true, the conclusion must be true

Page 9 (loc 216) Values are, according to this hypothesis, more fundamental than rules.

Page 18 (loc 351) learning involves structural changes in the brain

Page 20 (loc 400) cultural evolution can happen much faster than biological evolution

Page 59 (loc 1018) Once certain practices become the norm, once they are seen to bring benefits and to circumvent troubles, once they are reinforced by social approval and disapproval, they do of course seem to reflect the only right way for things to be

Page 60 (loc 1036) Humans are learners extraordinaire, and imitators plus extraordinaire

Page 60- [lots of stuff about the benefits of touch]

Page 61 (loc 1065) Some humans are highly group directed and reputation sensitive, while others live contentedly on the fringe

Page 62 (loc 1069) dark side to sociality

Page 64 (loc 1093) market integration.. [what % of your food do you get directly from your own efforts]

Page 65 (loc 1111) Market integrated individuals are more likely to show trust in dealings with strangers than are hunter-gatherers

Page 68 (loc 1161) [she defines cooperation as she plans to use it ]

Page 71 (loc 1212) The main hypothesis of this book, that morality originates in the neurobiology of attachment and bonding ...

Page 72 onward [effect of OXT on cooperation ]

Page 81 (loc 1403) the problem of free-riding ... attenuated ... when the group is small

Page 82 (loc 1424) in the non-punishment condition ... contributions ... decreased ...

Page 83 (loc 1441) When the option of punishment became available, contributions immediately jumped and continued to increase

Page 84 (loc 1456) These studies suggest that anger is a powerful driver of canonical moral behavior, namely, the punishing of wrongdoers.

Page 89 (loc 1538) temperamentally, are Homo sapiens more like chimps or bonobos

page 105 (loc 1813) innateness sometimes impedes clarity

page 106 (loc 1833) vulnerability to propaganda, the willingness to go to war on a tide of jingoism, the nontrivial vairability in moral customs....

Page 111 (loc 1919) On these topics, instant intuitions may give answers that backfire, and fair-minded disagreement can persist for decades

page 114 (loc 1971) what behavioral traits were selected for in human evolution cannot be solved by a vivid imagination

page 119 (loc 2054) With greater predictive capacities come greater opportunities to manipulate, in both the social and physical domains

page 130 (loc 2239) From the persepective of evolution, learning has clear advantages in efficiency and flexibility over having it built in.

page 166 (loc 2840) Evaluation, as discussed, is rooted in the emotions and passions that are endemic to human nature, and in the social habits acquired through childhood.

page 167 (loc 2860) a great Souter quote

page 170 to page 172 --discusses the problems with the golden rule
page 192 (loc 3305) As argued in earlier chapters, given normal neural networks, the pain from being shunned and the pleasure of belonging, along with imitation of those we admire, give rise to powerful intuitions about the absolute rightness and wrongness of classes of behavior

page 203 (loc 3498) Hume realized that trust will not exist unless there is some sort of enforcement of the rules of the game

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