CEU Summer University: MORALITY: EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS AND COGNITIVE MECHANISMS
COURSE DIRECTOR Nicolas Baumard, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
FACULTY Jean-Baptiste André, CNRS, Paris, France; Paul Bloom, Yale University, New Haven, USA; Redouan Bshary, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; Leda Cosmides, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA; Molly Crockett, University College London, UK; Gergely Csibra, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; Fiery Cushman, Brown University, Providence, USA; Keith Jensen, Manchester University, UK; Dan Sperber, Department of Cognitive Science / Department of Philosophy, CEU, Budapest, Hungary | Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Paris, Institut Jean Nicod, France; John Tooby, Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara, US; and Karen Wynn, Yale University, New Haven, USA
GUEST SPEAKER Pascal Boyer, Psychology and Anthropology departments, Washington University in St Louis, USA
BRIEF COURSE DESCRIPTION
What makes humans moral beings? This question can be understood either as a proximate “how” question or as an ultimate “why” question. The “how” question, which is about the mental and social mechanisms that produce moral judgments, has been investigated by psychologists and social scientists. The “why” question, which is about the fitness consequences that explain why humans have morality, has been discussed by evolutionary biologists in the context of the evolution of cooperation. The goal of this summer school is to contribute to a fruitful articulation of such proximate and ultimate explanations of human morality.
The school will be taught by internationally renowned experts interested in both ultimate and proximate questions, from evolutionary biology (Jean-Baptiste André, Redouan Bshary), comparative psychology (Keith Jensen), evolutionary psychology (Nicolas Baumard, Leda Cosmides) to cognitive neuroscience (Molly Crockett), developmental psychology (Paul Bloom, Gergely Csibra, Karen Wynn) and cognitive psychology (Fiery Cushman).
The design of the course stresses highly interactive forms of teaching. The course will begin with introductory lectures to build common ground between the researchers from different disciplines. After the introductions, all segments will be held in a seminar format, with faculty members leading the seminar, and responses/commentaries delivered by teams of students. There will be specific time devoted to smaller group discussions, also led by a member of the faculty, and also opportunities for selected students to give talks and poster presentations.
The summer course is aimed at providing a state-of-the-art cutting-edge scientific and research-oriented training for post-doctoral young researchers and highly promising pre-doctoral students from European and overseas universities and research institutes on the evolutionary and psychological bases of morality.
Central European University's summer school (CEU SUN), established in 1996, is a program in English for graduate students, junior or post-doctoral researchers, teachers and professionals. It offers high-level, research-oriented, interdisciplinary academic courses as well as workshops on policy issues for professional development, taught by internationally renowned scholars and policy experts (including CEU faculty). Application from all over the world is encouraged. Financial aid is available.
Application deadline: February 14, 2014
For further academic information on the course and on eligibility criteria and funding options please visit the web site at