Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a
select group of others (Us), and for fighting off everyone else (Them).
But modern life has thrust the world’s tribes into a shared space,
creating conflicts of interest and clashes of values, along with
unprecedented opportunities. As the world shrinks, the moral lines that
divide us become more salient and more puzzling. We fight over
everything from tax codes to gay marriage to global warming, and we
wonder where, if at all, we can find our common ground.
A grand synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
($29.95) reveals the underlying causes of modern conflict and lights the way
forward. Drawing inspiration from moral
philosophy and cuttingedge science, this book shows us when to trust our instincts, when to reason, and how the right kind of reasoning can move us forward.
Joshua Greene is the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the
Social Sciences and the director of the Moral Cognition Lab in Harvard
University’s Department of Psychology. His research has been supported
by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health,
and the MacArthur Foundation. Greene has appeared on Charlie Rose and Scientific American Frontiers, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Discover Magazine, WNYC’s RadioLab, and NPR’s Morning Edition.