How can we explain kindness and cruelty? Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Why do people so often disagree about moral issues? This course explores the psychological foundations of our moral lives.
Welcome to Moralities of Everyday Life!
The Big Questions What is morality, anyway? What are the big debates in the field of moral psychology?
Compassion Where does concern for others come from? How is it related to empathy—and is more empathy necessarily a good thing? And what can we learn from the study of those who seemingly lack normal moral feelings, such as violent psychopaths?
Origins of Morality Here, we ask about which aspects of morality are universal. We discuss evolution, cross-cultural research, and the fascinating new science of the moral life of babies.
Differences How does culture influence our moral thought and moral action? What role does religion play? Why are some of us conservative and others liberal, and how do political differences influence our sense of right and wrong?
Family, Friends, and Strangers Our moral feelings are usually most powerful towards our kin (such as our parents and our children) and our friends and allies. We will discuss these special bonds, and then turn to the morality of racial and ethnic bias. Then we use the tools of behavioral economics to explore the controversial question of whether we are ever truly altruistic to strangers.
The Big Answers We’ll discuss some clever studies that show how our moral behavior is powerfully influenced—often at the unconscious level—by the situations that we find ourselves in. Such findings raise some hard problems about determinism, free will, and moral responsibility. Most of all, if our actions are determined by our brains, our genes, and our situations, in what sense can we be said to be moral agents? The course will end by trying to address this question.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
One of those academic courses that stays away from reality. Professor Bloom actually pointed out that this is intentional. He doesn't want to discuss controversial topics as they initiate fights and anger on forums . Consequently, the knowledge is limited to the lab.
Dear professor, the life is complicated and controversial .
It should be the duty of any school to get students ready for it.
In 3 weeks I haven't learnt anything new except for an interesting theory on differences in chimps and bonobos societies.
I don't know if I'm going to continue with this course. Have had enough of the experiments on animals. How moral is it?
Few students mentioned an upcoming course on human behaviour. Read an introduction and watched couple of videos with the instructor, loved it.
See you at "A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior" !
Genevieve De Lacazecompleted this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I finished this course like you finish a great book: with sadness of leaving it behind and happiness of having it within. I did take a lot of notes and researched further the topics and arguments presented but that was pure joy, really. I really liked that they kept things simple. Prof Bloom was fun and easy to follow. I'd love a part 2.
Laurachurchercompleted this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Really enjoyed this course - this was not a subject I had any familiarity with and I thought it was a great introduction to ethics and the philosophical study of morality. There was a good variety of articles in the readings and guest lectures. Would love there to be more material than there was.
Hailey Meinencompleted this course, spending 1 hours a week on it.
I was not able to access the quiz material (free version) so I don't know how difficult the course is. However, I found the material very interesting and the lectures made good use of various resources. A bit long- I watched the videos on double speed and was able to catch the information well.
Maxime Zabiégoaudited this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Both informative and entertaining. Professor Bloom is very good at capturing his audience and listening to him is was a real pleasure.
Owing to lack of time, I didn't participate in forum discussions, but just watching the course videos and browsing complementary resources proved very valuable. I have prof. Bloom's book in my chart for further reading and I'll definitely look for other courses / talks from him.