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Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights$
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Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks, and Andrew K. Woods

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371895.001.0001

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Moral Grammar and Human Rights

Moral Grammar and Human Rights

Some Reflections on Cognitive Science and Enlightenment Rationalism

(p.160) 7 Moral Grammar and Human Rights
Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

John Mikhail

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 7, cognitive science and legal John Mikhail reviews the mind sciences for evidence of what he calls “universal moral grammar”—a moral organ that is now an innate feature like linguistic ability. If such an inherent moral fabric exists, Mikhail argues, it may suggest that current skepticism in human rights scholarship about moral foundationalism is unwarranted.

Keywords:   moral biology, moral intuitions, trolley car, universal moral grammar, fmri, human rights, cognitive science, neuroscience, neurobiology

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