The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values


This book was a much more difficult read than his earlier books Letter and End of Faith. Rather than a popular, NYT best seller list-type book, this seems to target a more scientific audience. It should be studied rather than simply read. Moral Landscape is a very technical book both in terms of philosophy and neuroscience. Chapter 1, the introduction of the moral landscape concept, and Chapter 4, the teardown of religion and Francis Collins in particular, are the most accessible parts of the book. In between are some seriously academic chapters. It is all very interesting, however I wish he would have kept the academics in the endnotes to make the book flow more for non-technical readers. Unfortunately the endnotes are a mix of academic references and some good commentary, which turns things into a bit of a slog. That said, it is an amazingly ambitious book that could change the relationship between modern science and ethics, and well worth the read. To get a taste of the controversy, check out the TED talk (and resulting commentary) that made me pre-order the book right away.

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

Author: Chad Kohalyk

Bellatrist, communitarian, tech contrarian. Generous with Likes.