Philosophy Talk: Babies and the birth of morality

May 19, 2017

Is morality innate, learned, or does it come from some combination of nature and nurture?


Doing the right thing is often an extremely difficult task. Yet psychological research indicates that infants as young as 21 months old have a crude sense of what is right and wrong. This capacity is reflected by infants' decisions to reward or punish characters in social scenarios. But surely a genuine, robust, mature moral compass is much more complicated than that. So what can babies tell us about adult morality? How much of morality is innate, and how much must we develop as moral thinkers? John and Ken talk infant morality with Paul Bloom from Yale University, author of Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil. Sunday 5/21 at 10 am and Tuesday 5/23 at 12 noon.