The  EVOLUTION  of  MORALITY IMAGE 26B   
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Concept/Content expression of emotion
Information caption Contemporary studies continue to document the role of particular muscles in expressing emotions, as well as in feeling and perceiving them among others (Niedenthal 2007).
One of the most challenging communication tasks in social interactions involving morality sometimes even with language is interpreting the intention of others. This is a further dimension of managing social information relevant to moral responses for example, in deceiving others or in detecting such deception. Being able to interpret, or "mirror," another mind appears to be quite a sophisticated cognitive skill. The abilities of other primates and mammals in doing this are still being debated (Zimmer 2003; Miller 2005; Pennisi 2006).
Communication and language are also integral to sharing desires and ideas about ideal behavior, and thus to moral discourse. In the context of organisms with open behavior programs, language contributes significantly to the transmission of culture and to the learning of moral norms. Moral systems may thus not only emerge socially, but also perpetuate themselves culturally, apart from specific genes or individual behavior patterns (Richerson and Boyd 2005).
Inquiry caption [...continued]
. . . Contemporary studies continue to document the role of particular muscles in expressing emotions, as well as in feeling them and perceiving them among others (Niedenthal 2007). In what way might understanding the expression of emotions contribute to understanding moral behavior in a social context? What else might need to be communicated, or discerned, besides emotions?
Based on these images about the communication of emotion, how might organisms interpret the intention of others, so important to many moral judgments? How might one organism deceive another about its intentions, and how might that other organism detect such deceit? [These problems are still being investigated.]
What other aspects of communication might shape the sociality of moral behavior?
Target Concept: Effective communication enhances the social function of moral behavior.
Source From Niedenthal (2007). Reproduced with permission from AAAS.
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