Magazine May 20, 2019, Issue

Can Science Explain Morality?

The constellation Virgo (Hubble Space Telescope via NASA)
Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality, by James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky (Yale University Press/Templeton Press, 312 pp., $26)

‘Against the pervasive self-interest of our market culture, the inescapable cynicism of our political culture, and the extensive vacuity of our entertainment culture,” sociologist James Davison Hunter and philosopher Paul Nedelisky write, “we want to believe that there is some foundation upon which we as a nation or world can make strong moral claims; claims that will inspire us, guide us, and unify us.” But on what basis can we do so?

Is there a moral structure to reality itself, rendering some motivations and actions good and others evil, or is life just one damn thing after another and morality

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “What Morals Are Made Of” in the May 20, 2019, print edition of National Review.

In This Issue

In Defense of Markets

Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Until Biden’s poll numbers come down, we advise the women of Iowa and New Hampshire to keep their distance.


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