The evolution of morality

Erice, Italy – Ettore Majorana Centre International Meeting – June 17th – 22nd 2012 “The Evolution of Morality: The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience” One of the central issues debates about the origin of human morality has been the sharp line draw between humans and other life forms using morality as principal demarcation.In this view, human moral behaviour is often defined in


Erice, Italy – Ettore Majorana Centre 
International Meeting – June 17th – 22nd 2012 
The Evolution of Morality: The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience” 


One of the central issues debates about the origin of human morality has been the sharp line draw between humans and other life forms using morality as principal demarcation.

In this view, human moral behaviour is often defined in opposition to the natural “instincts”, or as a tool to keep those instincts under control. In other words, morality is a purely cultural and “evidence” of our uniqueness.New findings have brought us back to the original Darwinian position that moral behaviour is continuous with animals social instincts.

The purpose of this highly integrative, interdisciplinary, and comparative workshop is to debate the origin and working of human morality within the context of science. 

Evolutionary biologists, ethologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, psychologists, developmental psychologists, philosophers and theologians will discuss the central question of what morality and conscience are. The contributions of science and religion to morality, currently hotly debated, will also figure in the discussions as well as the question of why and how humans may have evolved their moral sense.


Directors of the workshop 
Frans de Waal (Emory University, Atlanta, USA) 
Telmo Pievani (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy) 
Stefano Parmigiani (University of Parma, Italy) 

Invited Speakers (ordered by provisional schedule): Frans de Waal (Emory University, Atlanta); Philip Kitcher (Columbia University); Patricia Churchland (University of California San Diego); Pier Francesco Ferrari (University of Parma); Liane Young (Boston College); Richard Joyce (Victoria University); Oren Harman (Bar Ilan University); Darcia Narvaez (University of Notre Dame); Melanie Killen (University of Maryland); Jan Verplaetse(Ghent University); Christopher Boehm (University of Southern California); Telmo Pievani (University of Milan Bicocca) and Giorgio Vallortigara (University of Trento); Ara Norenzayan (University of British Columbia); Jeffrey Schloss (Westmont College); Owen Flanagan (Duke University); Stephen Pope (Boston College); Simon Blackburn (University of Cambridge). 

Deadline for registration: March 30th 2012 

WEBSITE: http://www.evolutionofmorality.it