, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 55–65

Can Science Determine Moral Values? A Reply to Sam Harris

Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12152-010-9096-y

Cite this article as:
Kaufman, W.R.P. Neuroethics (2012) 5: 55. doi:10.1007/s12152-010-9096-y


Sam Harris’ new book “The Moral Landscape” is the latest in a series of attempts to provide a new “science of morality.” This essay argues that such a project is unlikely to succeed, using Harris’ text as an example of the major philosophical problems that would be faced by any such theory. In particular, I argue that those trying to construct a scientific ethics need pay far more attention to the tradition of moral philosophy, rather than assuming the debate is simply between a scientific ethics and a “supernatural” ethics provided by religion.


Ethics Morality Neuroscience Utilitarianism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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