Asked to consider the benevolence of babies, some might be reminded of a recent Internet meme: a picture of a smiling infant, captioned “I have a surprise for you . . . it’s poop.”
But Paul Bloom, a Yale psychologist who mines his child-development research for insights into morality, makes a compelling case that babies aren’t the self-centered savages that Thomas Hobbes, or the Internet, takes them for. Bloom argues that even the youngest infants are naturally endowed with moral sensibilities, including empathy, compassion, and a rudimentary sense of fairness.