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May 10, 1995

The Landscape Within: An Inquiry on the Structure of Morality

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston

JAMA. 1995;273(18):1465. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520420081049

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For well over 3000 years, members of our species have talked, written, and at times even thought long and hard over questions like "Why do we name things/ behaviors good?" or "What is it to be moral?" Before and since Plato, classical philosophers have not had to bother with the present explosion of knowledge in the various fields of science. It now seems obvious to most of us in biomedical science that many of these new insights into structure and function do have relevance to human behavior and morality.

Dr Hoverman in this short book has modest goals, but they are directed toward integrating some of this new science into a better understanding of morality. His thesis is that the biological "landscape within" may contain one or more structures upon which nature and nurture play to generate moral thought and behavior. Since the universe works according to causal laws and

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