The UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality was established in 2003 by a group of scholars interested in recent scientific research that yields insight on the origins and causes of morality. In creating the center, UCI faculty both address a topic that is becoming one of the new frontiers in science and reflect critically on the moral implications of this new frontier. The center focuses on the etiology of ethical behavior and differs in several important ways from existing centers dedicated to the discussion of ethics. Traditional academic approaches tend to originate in philosophical, foundational, or religious discussions of ethics. They tend to be humanistic in orientation and emphasize abstract, theoretical considerations of what constitutes ethics and morality. The center complements this traditional approach and explores the scientific and/or the empirically verifiable factors that influence morality, using a variety of methodologies that examine factors contributing to and driving moral action in a variety of social, psychological, and biological contexts. The center encourages ties between scholars interested in ethics in humanities and the sciences—including social science, social ecology, biological sciences, and medicine—building on the interdisciplinary tradition at UCI, complementing, rather than duplicating, existing efforts. Visit for more information.


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