Three books explore these innate human traits.
What is morality? Where does it come from? According to neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland in her book Braintrust (Princeton University Press, 2011), morality originates in the brain. She argues that over time the human brain evolved to feel social pain and pleasure. As humans evolved to care about the well-being of others, they also developed a sense of morality.
Robert Kurzban believes that we are all hypocrites. But not to worry, he explains, hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind. In his book Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind (Princeton University Press, 2011), Kurzban asserts that the human mind consists of many specialized units, which do not always work together seamlessly. When this harmony breaks down, people often develop contradictory beliefs.
How is consciousness possible? In Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness (Princeton University Press, 2011), psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, a leading figure in consciousness research, proposes a startling new theory. Consciousness, he argues, is merely a magic show we stage inside our heads. This show has allowed humans to become aware of themselves and their surroundings.