Morality - Stephen Reagin PHIL1334 TTH 1:00-2:30 Third...

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Stephen Reagin PHIL1334 TTH 1:00-2:30 Third Essay (Topic #2) Gazzaniga believes that humans have an inborn ethical sense which comes, in large part, from the physical structure of the brain. Physical structure in this sense can be used to describe both the physical locations of the individual neurons which make up the brain, as well as the process by which they act. The last two chapters of The Ethical Brain also include an attempt to separate "taught" or "learned" ethical codes from the type of morality which is seemingly passed down genetically and would appear to be present in most people. One item that must first be made clear, although it's not explicitly stated by Gazzaniga, is the idea that ethical behavior arises from a system of beliefs; beliefs lead a person to decide the "rightness" on issues of morality which include, but are certainly not limited to: theft, giving aid to others, murder, using renewable energy, etc. One obstacle to overcome in attempts to reconcile morality with a physical brain structure is finding a part of the brain that can create beliefs, and Gazzaniga does exactly this by explaining the "interpretation" that takes place in the left hemisphere of the brain. He explains that certain functions of the left hemisphere can be seen to connect independently-working areas or modules throughout the brain and "interpreting" their individual conclusions into a workable outcome. He cites an example of a person who has suffered a stroke and their right parietal cortex which controls certain motor functions has been partially damaged to the point where the person can no longer move his arm. Normally when an arm is physically damaged to the point of paralysis it sends damage signals back to the brain, but in this
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case the arm has not been damaged, yet it still can not move. His eyes relay the no-
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Morality - Stephen Reagin PHIL1334 TTH 1:00-2:30 Third...

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