Summary of The Moral Landscape

How Science Can Determine Human Values

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The Moral Landscape book summary
For an articulate rationalist argument for applying science to basic moral questions, look no further.


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Neuroscientist and best-selling author Sam Harris is controversial, argumentative, against religion, in favor of science, deeply moral and intensely rationalist. While he never uses one word if many more will do, Harris’s positions on science, morality, religion and brain function prove innovative, well researched, thought provoking, and, if you are of a religious bent, probably infuriating. Harris dissects the evolutionary and biological processes underlying reason, moral choices and faith. He poses scientific counterarguments for religious tenets and dreams of a world where science proves the worth of any moral choice. You may not agree with everything he has to say, but he expresses the point of view of rationalism with thorough conviction. Caught up in explaining philosophical complexities, he seems not to worry whether readers will totally understand all that he says. Even so, getAbstract suggests this interesting, impassioned, philosophical explanation of the rationalist worldview to those who wonder how and why – and even if – people make certain choices, and what their choices mean.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How rationalist thinking uses facts to determine moral value,
  • Why science should help close the divide between “knowledge and values,” and
  • How to make choices that promote “human well-being.”


Morality as Quantifiable Fact
Can scientific methods demonstrate a morally superior way of life? Rationalism answers “yes,” and states that questions about morals are always questions about values. Such queries address “the well-being of conscious creatures.” If “human well-being” can ...
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About the Author

Neuroscientist Sam Harris wrote The End of Faith, Lying, Free Will and Letters to a Christian Nation.

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