Friday, September 26, 2014

Just Babies

Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, by Paul Bloom

I pick these books up from the "New Books" shelf to read over lunch, and then I wind up taking them home.  Paul Bloom likes to study babies and small children to find out when and how they develop moral sense.  What a very interesting thing to do! 

Babies, as we might expect, develop moral sense over time, but it's quite amazing how early they start.  Bloom describes experiments where they measure how long babies look at things (because babies will look longer at things they either prefer or do not expect) and how very slightly older children--young toddlers--will act in certain scenarios.  All this is really interesting to read about.

It's a bit less interesting when he wanders off the topic of babies to talk about various sets of moral values and where they might come from.  I liked the experiments with tiny children best.  But overall it's a pretty fun read, not too dense.


AmberBug said...

This looks really interesting, I'm adding it. Thanks!

Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I always like reading about the development of morals in tiny children. It seems like the most basic level of morality is about justice, and the more complex moral questions are things that kids acquire by living in whatever society they're raised in.