About the Age of Expanded Reason Award
The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. The university and foundation sought academic works that question and explicitly incorporate reflections on the anthropology, epistemology, ethics and meaning that exist within the specific science. Two awards were given for research, and two were given for academic programs.
Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. Narvaez will receive the prize, including a substantial monetary award, at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27, 2017.
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom outlines an evolutionary framework for early childhood experience that is grounded in developmental systems theory, encompassing not only genes but a wide array of inheritances and epigenetic factors. It describes the neurobiological bases for the development of distinctive moral mindsets, addressing ethical functioning at multiple levels of complexity and context before turning to a theory of the emergence of wisdom. Finally, it suggests that we honor the sociocultural orientations of our ancestors and cousins in small-band hunter-gatherer societies—the norm for 99% of human history—for a re-envisioning of an organic, sustainable moral life, from the way we value and organize child raising to how we cooperate with a living planet.
The book integrates elements of anthropology, clinical and developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the influences in early childhood that help shape a person’s moral character. Narvaez also received the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association for the book.
“Our research in the lab examines the evolved developmental niche—the evolved nest for humans—whose primary characteristics emerged with social mammals more than 30 million years ago,” Narvaez said. She and her team have published several empirical papers about the effects of the evolved nest on wellbeing and morality in children and adults.
In giving the award, University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation seek academic works that question and explicitly incorporate reflections on the anthropology, epistemology, ethics and meaning that exist within the specific science. Narváez’s book was chosen in the research category.
Narvaez, who joined the Department of Psychology in 2000, has published numerous books and articles on moral cognition, moral development, and moral character. She is a co-director of the interdisciplinary Self, Motivation, and Virtue project and the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science initiative. She is the exiting executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education and writes the popular Moral Landscapes blog for Psychology Today.
Visit Narvaez's University of Notre Dame website to find a complete list of her publications, educational materials, papers and videos.
As an educational nonprofit initiative, the Evolved Nest vision is to Restore Human Nature. Our mission is to:
- Heal the human species
- Restore human nature to its cooperative orientation, its original and "normal" human heritage
- Cultural Imperatives of the industrial era have undermined child development so much we think disregulated people are "normal". A return to and honoring of our Biological Imperatives, especially in child development, will help us shift culturally toward wellness and wholeness.
- Restore humanity's connection to nature
- Honor the primal continuum for wellness and wholeness that starts in conception and babyhood
- Honor the needs of the mother and father, generationally, so support systems exist for normal social-psychological development
- Become aware of the damaging, culturally accepted ideologies of nuclear family parenting by moving toward village-mindedness
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Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy
Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology
Contexts for Young Child Flourishing: Evolution, Family, and Society
Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution: Culture, Childrearing and Social Wellbeing
Darcia Narvaez is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her prior careers include professional musician, classroom music teacher, business owner, seminarian and middle school Spanish teacher. Dr. Narvaez’s current research explores how early life experience influences societal culture, wellbeing and sociomoral character in children and adults. She integrates neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her theories and research about human nature and human development.
She publishes extensively on moral development, parenting and education. Recently she has been studying the Evolved Nest and how it influences wellbeing, sociality and morality.
She hosts interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Notre Dame regarding early experience and human development (the talks and/or powerpoints are available online). In 2016, she organized a conference on Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing (talks available online).
She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles (see book list to the right).
Her recent book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (2014), won the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association, as well as the 2017 Expanded Reason Award. She is former executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education.
Darcia serves on the board of directors for Kindred World, is a contributing editor for Kindred Media, and will be launching a science think tank, the Evolved Nurturing Initiative in 2019.
Character Psychology And Character Education
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)
PRIMAL KNOW HOW FOR WISE LIVING
Embodied Morality: Protectionism, Engagement and Imagination
The Evolved Nest
The Evolved Nest is an educational initiative of Kindred World, an award-winning 501C3 nonprofit "Serving the Re-Generation Since 1996."
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