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Download Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, by Paul Bloom Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Bloom Narrator: Mike Chamberlai Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone.

From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice.

Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race.

In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies.

Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C. K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One comes to Paul Bloom for his unfailingly brilliant psychological research; one stays for the wise and relaxed way he writes about it.”

    Jim Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?An Existential Detective Story

  • “The rich cognitive and moral life of babies is among the most fascinating discoveries of twenty-first-century psychology. Paul Bloom explains how this work illuminates human nature, and does it with his trademark clarity, depth, discernment, and graceful style.”

    Steven Pinker, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

  • “Bloom shows us how a first rate scientist integrates conflicting findings, broad scholarship, and deep humanity to draw a nuanced and often surprising  portrait of human nature, with all its beauty, horror, and hope.”

    Jonathan Haidt, New York Times bestselling author of The Righteous Mind

  • “With wit and passion, Yale psychology professor Bloom explores the nature of morality…fascinating.”

    Publishers Weekly

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