Just Babies

Just Babies

The Origins of Good and Evil

Book - 2013
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"From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget, psychologists have long believed that we begin life as amoral animals. After all, isn't it the role of society--and especially parents--to transform babies from little psychopaths into civilized beings who can experience empathy and shame, and override selfish impulses? In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing upon years of original research at Yale, he shows that babies and toddlers can judge the goodness and badness of others' actions; that they act to soothe those in distress; and that they feel guilt, shame, pride, and righteous anger. Yet this innate morality is tragically limited. Our natural morality extends toward those in our own group, but this is offset by ingrained dislike, even hatred, of those in different groups. Put simply, we are natural-born bigots. Vivid and intellectually probing, Just Babies argues that it's only through our uniquely human capacity for reason that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we are born with. This erudite yet accessible book will captivate readers of Steven Pinker, Philip Zimbardo, and Robert Wright."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307886842
Characteristics: 273 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 22, 2018

a breezy read, full of fascinating details about the development of our morality

JCLChrisK Aug 19, 2015

A highly readable, engaging, and intriguing look at philosophical, biological, and psychological issues of morality. Bloom begins from his work with infants and children as a cognitive scientist, sharing what studies have shown is an innate sense of right and wrong that we are all born with and how it (potentially) develops into adult morality. He reviews what other thinkers have theorized, describes research into the field, and shares his own conclusions with conversational, everyday language. The chapter titles indicate his areas of consideration: The Moral Life of Babies; Empathy and Compassion; Fairness, Status, and Punishment; Others; Bodies; Family Matters; and How to Be Good. I wish he would have synthesized his thoughts in the different areas into a clearer whole, but he certainly offers much food for thought.

Jan 06, 2015

This is a good book, it teaches us about human nature, I dont want to spoil the the final conclusion of the book, so is human nature good or bad, you have to read the book to find out the conclusion.

What I can take away from this book is to teach my child "The Golden Rule" when it comes to being a good and responsible human being.


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