Many biologists and legal scholars believe that the ability to distinguish between right and wrong is an innate capacity. For many years, the Institute has maintained a wide range of programs that examine our sense of justice. One initiative is aimed at its development in children- is this a process with critical phases, like language acquisition? What is the relation between the variables of the environment and our shared developmental program and the formation and content of a sense of justice? Another focus of research in this area is understanding how we learn legal rules, and how this compares to moral reasoning and the sense of justice. As part of this program, the Institute has conducted workshops with the University of Munich as well as research on early childhood development at Humboldt University in Berlin, and the University of Würzburg.
Sense of Justice Conference List
Planning Conference: “Windows for Justice.” Humanwissenschaftliches Zentrum. University of Munich, Germany, February 16-17, 2001.
Roundtable Conference: “Windows for Justice.” University of Munich, Germany, September 6-7, 2000.
Conference: “Law, Evolutionary Biology, and The Sense of Justice:” Squaw Valley, CA. June 7-10, 2000.
Symposium: “Windows for Justice (Street Law),” sponsored by Georgetown Law Center and Gruter Institute at Washington, DC, March 27-28, 1998.
Panel: “The Sense of Justice: Biological Foundations of Morality and Law” at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Baltimore, February 9, 1996.
Fourth Monterey Conference: “Law, Biology, and the Sense of Justice: An Inquiry,” Monterey, CA, October 12-15, 1989.
Workshop: “The Legal Concept of Obligation and Responsibility in Ethological Perspective,” Munich, Germany, February 24-27, 1988.
Panel: “Ethology and Law” at the annual meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, Chicago, IL, September 3, 1987.
Second Monterey Dunes Conference: “Ostracism.” September 14-16, 1984.