School of Bioscience
Specifically, I am interested on how the brain sciences can contribute to a deeper understanding of moral emotions, moral thinking and moral behavior.
Main area of research
My current main area of research is neuroethics (a relatively new field of research on the intersection between neuroscience and ethics) and specifically I am interested on how the brain sciences can contribute to a deeper understanding of moral emotions, moral thinking and moral behavior.
Human and Personal Identity (1995), 203 p. Lund University Press. ISSN 1100-4290, ISBN 91-7966-344-3. Ph.D. dissertation.
Forskningsetiska, kunskapsteoretiska och psykologiska anomalier i kunskapens gråzoner (2007, i Forskningens gråzoner, Agrell W. (Red.)). ISBN 978-91-7331-085-7.
A theoretical framework for empirical research on the relationship between pro‐social computer gaming and pro-social behavior based on social neurocognitive and neuroethical aspects of empathy. (2012) Together with Judith Annett. (Preliminarily accepted for publication).
My current research is about the phenomenon of empathy. The capacity to empathize is a fundamental element of moral and pro-social behavior and there is a fast growing body of research on its neural underpinnings (e.g. the role of some prefrontal cortical and limbic regions and the influence of neurohormones like oxytocin). The understanding of the cognitive/affective neural mechanisms underlying empathy generates a new perspective on ancient philosophical problems in meta-ethics.
I started my career in philosophy writing a doctoral dissertation on the problem of personal identity. From the very beginning it became clear to me that the neurosciences would radically change commonsensical and philosophical views on what human beings are - which generated dissatisfaction with the main methodologies used in academic ethics as they tended to disregard the relevance of the neurosciences for moral philosophy. After some years working outside the academic world I eventually returned to it focusing mostly on teaching for several years. The main purpose of my present research on empathy is to make a contribution to the understanding of its role in moral judgment. In the near future I also intend to finalize a monograph on neuroethics.
- Stefan's blogg
"On the intersection between descriptive ethics and cognitive neuroscience"