Biology · Neuroscience

Marc D. Hauser

'The matter is simple: our moral faculty is equipped with a universal set of rules, in which each culture introduces certain exceptions'.


Evolutionary biologist and cognitive neuroscientist, he has received, among others, the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a science medal from the College de France, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Hauser’s work focuses on the nature of our moral sense, looking at other animals for insights into our evolutionary past, children for the building blocks that enable us to acquire moral intuitions, and adults with brain damage to understand how we rely on critical neural circuits to avoid harming others, and enjoy the fruits of helping a select few.

He wrote The Evolution of Communication, Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, and is working on a new book called Evilicious: Why we Enjoy Being Bad.

His work and ideas are frequently discussed in the media, including Newsweek, The New York Times, and a number of public radio stations, both nationally and internationally.

Participation in CDI:

  • 2009

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