Book: The Moral Life of Babies by Paul Bloom -Scientific American

Yale Psychology Professor Paul Bloom finds the origins of morality in infants


Morality is not just something that people learn, argues Yale psychologist Paul Bloom: It is something we are all born with. At birth, babies are endowed with compassion, with empathy, with the beginnings of a sense of fairness. It is from these beginnings, he argues in his new book Just Babies, that adults develop their sense of right and wrong, their desire to do good — and, at times, their capacity to do terrible things. Bloom answered questions recently from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.  

What are the first signs of morality in babies?

The earliest signs are the glimmerings of empathy and compassion—pain at the pain of others, which you can see pretty soon after birth. Once they’re capable of coordinated movement, babies will often try to soothe others who are suffering, by patting and stroking.

By Gareth Cook