News of the WeekCOGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

Moral Reasoning Relies on Emotion

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Science  14 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5537, pp. 1971-1972
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5537.1971a

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Summary

Philosophers have been debating for decades but have been unable to come up with a logical reason why sometimes it's OK to kill one person to save five, while other times it's not. Now, an interdisciplinary team has offered its philosopher colleagues a helping hand. According to a brain imaging study presented on page 2105, even if an ethical problem is posed in strictly rational terms, people's emotional responses guide their solutions.

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