Brain Intersections of Aesthetics and Morals: Perspectives from Biology, Neuroscience, and Evolution

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 54 (3):367-380 (2011)
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Abstract

Human aesthetic experiences are pervasive; they are triggered by faces, art, natural scenery, foods, ideas, theories, and decision-making situations, among many sources, and seem to be a distinctive trait of our species. Our moral sense, understood as our capacity to judge events, actions, or people as good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, also seems to be an exclusively human endowment (Ayala 2010). As part of the scientific efforts to characterize the biological foundations of our human uniqueness, recently there has been interest in the brain’s underpinnings of aesthetic reactions to art on the one hand, and in the neural correlates of moral judgment and decision-making on the other (Greene and Paxton ..

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