My book Soul Made Flesh looks at the roots of neuroscience in the 1600s. The first neurologists saw their work as a religious mission; they recognized that it was with the brain that we made moral judgments. In order to finish the book, I looked for living neuroscientists who carry on those early traditions today. I was soon fascinated by the work of Joshua Greene, a philosopher turned neuroscientist at Princeton. Greene is dissecting the ways in which people decide what is right and wrong. To do so, he poses moral dilemmas to them while he scans their brains. I mentioned Greene briefly in Soul Made Flesh and then went into more detail in a profile I wrote recently. Greene and I will join forces tomorrow on the show New York and Company on WNYC tomorrow around 12:30 pm. You can listen to us on the radio or on the web.
What I find most striking is that these issues related to morals and their origin in the physical brain still have not as much acceptance in the eyes of the public as they should. The cartesian duality still prevails in folk psychology.