If someone on the other side of the world uses a different type of spoon to eat their soup than you do, chances are it’s not going to bother you. But if they engaged in practices that hurt women and children, it would. What is the difference? It turns out that choices that we see as moral are fundamentally different than other preferences. And these moral choices may have an essential role in forming today’s society.
Today on the podcast we are joined by Dr. P. Kyle Stanford. Kyle is a professor within the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California at Irvine. One of his recent papers is “The Difference Between Ice Cream and Nazis: Moral Externalization and the Evolution of Human Cooperation“. He works on moral psychology, evolutionary biology, and philosophy. He suggests that the moral choices we make not only serve as a signpost to how we should live our lives, but helped to form society and the basis of culture as we know it. We discuss the evolution of morality, if animals are moral, the history of society, and pistachio ice cream.