Jesus and Hume among the Neuroscientists: Haidt, Greene, and the Unwitting Return of Moral Sense Theory

The latest trend in ethics, sometimes dismissed as a fad, is the effort to connect ethics to empirical science. Two different versions of this “latest thing” can be found in the work of Jonathan Haidt and Joshua Greene. Their projects are, at least partly, unwitting recoveries of eighteenth-century Christian moral sense theory. Such similarities need not worry Christian ethicists but should instead inspire a careful retrieval of sentimentalism. It provides much of what today’s empirical ethicists hope to deliver without the pitfalls.