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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Adult courses

The Ethical Mind: Morality and Everyday Life

Week 1: July 5-11, 2015

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

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How do we know that some things are morally wrong, and what motivates us to act on moral beliefs? If human morality is based on our ability to reason, then why does reasoning fail to produce moral behavior in some individuals? And what is the role of emotion in our behavior, moral or not?

With David Pizarro, associate professor of psychology, we'll explore such questions from religion, philosophy, and psychology as we immerse ourselves in the study of morality.

We'll look at the fairly sophisticated sense of fairness demonstrated by human toddlers, chimpanzees, and even dogs as we consider the origin of moral codes.

By week's end, we'll have tested Theodore Parker and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s maxim that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

David Pizarro

David Pizarro is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. His primary research interests are in moral judgment, the effects of emotion on judgment, and on the overlap between these two. These topics are particularly... > more


Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For those staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) covers the course, lodging, sixteen meals, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, welcome and farewell parties, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees. Wednesday supper is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees. Weekly program rates vary with the accommodation you select:

Program fee including on-campus housing and meals

  • Court/Kay Hall: double occupancy per adult $1,932, single supplement $100
  • Room w/private bathroom: double occupancy per adult $1,990, single supplement $150

Program fee for commuters and for those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites*: $1,115

*This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option: $425. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience.