Narratives are embedded in human biology. Each individual's emotional system is shaped by early experience and can be viewed as a biosocial personal grammar for the social life. A child builds a biosocial grammar initially from caregiver treatment. Caregivers and cultures help structure event memory and co-construct the narratives that children use for self and moral identities. The bioemotional landscape formed by experience influences the narratives that shape the life course. Initially, this occurs nonverbally through touch and emotional response; later, it occurs through explicit discourse and cultural practice. Triune ethics theory draws on evolutionary neurobiology, virtue ethics, and multiple human sciences to illustrate three ethics that represent basic neurobiological narratives that are formed by early experience and by climates and cultures. The three basic ethical orientations are Security, Engagement, and Imagination. One or more can become a dispositional orientation and each can be situationally primed. Cultures encourage one or another ethic through their support systems and common discourse. Mature moral behavior in most traditions involves self-actualization in selecting and cultivating the moral narratives that lead to peaceful coexistence.
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Darcia Narvaez; The Ethics of Neurobiological Narratives. Poetics Today 1 March 2011; 32 (1): 81–106. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-1188194
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