Patricia Churchland on The Colbert Report

Neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland tries to explain the existence of neurological bases for morality in the brain chemistry underlying social attachments to a skeptical Stephen Colbert. I appreciate that given the complexity and seriousness of what she was trying to get across he didn’t interrupt and derail her nearly as much as he does with others who his character is prone to antagonize. I took the latitude he gave her to finish her points was a sign of his respect for the challenge she had in getting such complicated, worthwhile answers out in a short span of time (which she did a marvelous job of doing).

Churchland’s new book is the tantalizingly titled Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain. Her 2011 book exploring what neuroscience has to offer to our understanding of the neurological basis of social moral life is Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality.

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