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Caltech and Fuller in a virtuous partnership

May 19, 2011

Can science explain why we “do good?” The Travis Research Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary and Caltech have been researching what happens in the brain that leads some people to act in a virtuous manner. The goal of this research is to explore the empirical and philosophical underpinnings of virtuous action. The research team used a new experimental approach to studying generosity in the laboratory and incorporated new data on how brain activity contributes to virtuous behavior. With the results, they are hoping to explain how behavior and brain activation relate to each other and what causes us to make virtuous decisions. If there is a proven connection between brain activity and virtue does that mean that some people’s brains are wired to be generous and others not? What does that say about free will?

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