Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture

Emotions Conference 2016 (13 of 20) | Paul Root Wolpe | The Ethics Chicken and Egg: Emotions and Intellect in Determining Moral Action

Episode Summary

Emotions Conference 2016 (13 of 20) | Paul Root Wolpe | The Ethics Chicken and Egg: Emotions and Intellect in Determining Moral Action

Episode Notes

Scholarship taking place in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have begun to illuminate the complex relationship between the emotional and intellectual contributions to our moral thought and behavior.  However, the assumptions often made in the West – that ethical decision-making should be primarily an intellectual exercise, and that emotional contributions are suspect at best and corrupting at worst should be questioned.  The Dalai Lama, for example, has proffered a system he calls “secular ethics” founded on an emotional platform that he believes can be cultivated for better ethical decisions.  Other faiths, such as Judaism, see a rational ethical method as more reliable.  We need to understand the nuances of both means of moral decision making to be able to untangle their mutual, important contribution to ethical expression. (February 12, 2016)