Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 543–549 | Cite as

Science, Human Nature, and a New Paradigm for Ethics Education

  • Marc Lampe
Original Paper


For centuries, religion and philosophy have been the primary basis for efforts to guide humans to be more ethical. However, training in ethics and religion and imparting positive values and morality tests such as those emanating from the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule have not been enough to protect humankind from its bad behaviors. To improve ethics education educators must better understand aspects of human nature such as those that lead to “self-deception” and “personal bias.” Through rationalizations, faulty reasoning and hidden bias, individuals trick themselves into believing there is little wrong with their own unethical behavior. The application of science to human nature offers the possibility of improving ethics education through better self-knowledge. The author recommends a new paradigm for ethics education in contemporary modern society. This includes the creation of a new field called “applied evolutionary neuro-ethics” which integrates science and social sciences to improve ethics education. The paradigm can merge traditional thinking about ethics from religious and philosophical perspectives with new ideas from applied evolutionary neuro-ethics.


Ethics Education Human nature Science Religion Philosophy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationUniversity of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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