Patricia S. Churchland is the author of "Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition" and "Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Selves." She is professor emerita of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.
In "Touching a Nerve," Churchland, the distinguished founder of neurophilosophy, drew from scientific research on the brain to understand its philosophical and ethical implications for identity, consciousness, free will, and memory. In "Conscience," she explores how moral systems arise from our physical selves in combination with environmental demands. All social groups have ideals for behavior, even though ethics vary among different cultures and among individuals within each culture.