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Welcoming Your Questions

March 2, 2010

You are reading the first contribution to Conscience Chronicles. This site aims to become a dynamic information service of the Indiana University Conscience Project. You will find regular, new content here about the Project’s latest developments. You will also find brief and informal contributions from the friends, members and collaborators of the Conscience Project. We would also love to hear what you think: your ideas for the future of the Conscience Project, your favorite items in the Conscience Works library, your vision of the conscience and how it works, and your favorite questions about conscience. (We’re not promising answers, but we do promise a friendly audience.)

Here are a few of the conscience questions I’m considering; I do not expect to have the answers any time soon, but at least I’m asking:

Conscience, What?
What is this thing that we call the “conscience”? Do we all have one? What does it do?

Conscience, Where?
Where is the conscience? Can our conceptual notions of the conscience be reconciled with a materialist approach to the human mind? In other words, is the conscience merely a function of the brain or is it something more?

Conscience, Why?
Why are we so fascinated with the conscience? The conscience probably has a long history in your own life, but it has an even longer one in art, philosophy, literature, theology and psychology. Why is the conscience such a powerful concept in our cultures?

Conscience, How?
How does the conscience work? How does it help (if it does) with moral decision making? How does it guide the “good life”?

Jere Odell

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