About this topic
Summary This category includes work on two main questions: (1) Can morality be given an evolutionary explanation? (2) What implications for moral philosophy would such an explanation have? Work addressing (1) must clearly specify the explanatory target. An important challenge here is to distinguish morality from related notions: altruism (biological and psychological), cooperation, prosocial emotions, and the capacity to follow norms more generally. Such work must also specify the relevant evolutionary mechanism(s). Options include kin selection, reciprocity, cultural group selection, sexual selection, costly signaling, and evolutionary constraint or accident. A useful broad distinction here is between adaptationist accounts, on which morality was selected for, and non-adaptationist accounts, on which morality is a by-product of some other trait(s). Work addressing (2) can be divided into that which considers implications for normative ethics, and for metaethics. The former is widely claimed to fall foul of the is/ought gap and the naturalistic fallacy, but the latter is immune to such charges (whatever they ultimately amount to). Work of the latter sort can be roughly but usefully divided into vindicating and debunking accounts. On the former, an evolutionary explanation for morality is at least compatible with - and may even positively support - the existence of moral facts and our possession of moral knowledge. On the latter, such an explanation somehow undermines morality, by giving reason to doubt the existence of moral facts, or our reliability as moral judgment makers, or both.
Key works Ruse & Wilson 1986 made an early, flawed but still instructive attempt to link evolutionary biology with moral philosophy. More recently, Kitcher 2005 and Joyce 2005 have offered adaptationist accounts of the evolution of morality; see Prinz 2008 for a non-adaptationist account. Kahane 2011 provides a useful framework for considering the metaethical implications of an evolutionary explanation for morality. Joyce 2005 and Street 2006 are two prominent evolutionary debunkers of morality. For a vindicating account, see Copp 2008.
Introductions Encyclopedia entries include Fitzpatrick 2008 and Schroeder 2001. For article-length overviews of the empirical and metaethical issues, see Allchin 2009 and Levy 2010, respectively. For a book-length treatment, see James 2010.
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1086 found
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  1. Ethics and Mathematics: The Reliability Challenge. Clarke-Doane - manuscript
    It is sometimes alleged that “the reliability challenge” to moral realism is equally compelling against mathematical realism. This allegation is of interest. The reliability challenge to moral realism is increasingly taken to be the most serious challenge to moral realism. However, the specific considerations that are said to motivate it – such as considerations of rational dubitability and evolutionary influence – are widely held not to motivate an analogous challenge to mathematical realism. If it turned out that, in fact, they (...)
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  2. A Match Not Made in Heaven.Richard Davis - manuscript
    Can a Darwinian be a Christian? "Absolutely," says Michael Ruse. Ruse is perhaps best known for his participation in the infamous Arkansas "Scopes II" trial in 1981, where he provided expert testimony on behalf of the ACLU in their attempt to strike down a law requiring balanced treatment of creation and evolution in public schools. (The ACLU won their case.) For many years professor of philosophy at Guelph University, Ruse now holds the Lucyle T. Werkmeist chair in philosophy at Florida (...)
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  3. Debunking Arguments: Mathematics, Logic, and Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Robert Richards and Michael Ruse (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    I discuss the structure of genealogical debunking arguments. I argue that they undermine our mathematical beliefs if they undermine our moral beliefs. The contrary appearance stems from a confusion of arithmetic truths with (first-order) logical truths, or from a confusion of reliability with justification. I conclude with a discussion of the cogency of debunking arguments, in light of the above. Their cogency depends on whether information can undermine all of our beliefs of a kind, F, without giving us direct reason (...)
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  4. Evolution, Society, and Ethics: Social Darwinism Versus Evolutionary Ethics.Christine Clavien - forthcoming - In Thomas Heams (ed.), Handbook of Evolutionary Biology (provis. Title). Springer.
    Evolutionary ethics (EE) is a branch of philosophy that arouses both fascination and deep suspicion. It claims that Darwinian mechanisms and evolutionary data on animal sociality are relevant to ethical reflection. This field of study is often misunderstood and rarely fails to conjure up images of Social Darwinism as a vector for nasty ideologies and policies. However, it is worth resisting the temptation to reduce EE to Social Darwinism and developing an objective analysis of whether it is appropriate to adopt (...)
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  5. Improved Model Exploration for the Relationship Between Moral Foundations and Moral Judgment Development Using Bayesian Model Averaging.Hyemin Han & Kelsie J. Dawson - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Education:1-15.
    Although some previous studies have investigated the relationship between moral foundations and moral judgment development, the methods used have not been able to fully explore the relationship. In the present study, we used Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) in order to address the limitations in traditional regression methods that have been used previously. Results showed consistency with previous findings that binding foundations are negatively correlated with post-conventional moral reasoning and positively correlated with maintaining norms and personal interest schemas. In addition to (...)
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  6. Evolution and Moral Naturalism.Richard Joyce - forthcoming - In Kelly James Clark (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism.
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  7. Empathy and the Evolutionary Emergence of Guilt.Grant Ramsey & Michael Deem - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
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  8. Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  9. Toolmaking and the evolution of normative cognition.Jonathan Birch - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-26.
    We are all guided by thousands of norms, but how did our capacity for normative cognition evolve? I propose there is a deep but neglected link between normative cognition and practical skill. In modern humans, complex motor skills and craft skills, such as toolmaking, are guided by internally represented norms of correct performance. Moreover, it is plausible that core components of human normative cognition evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of transmitting complex motor skills and craft skills, especially (...)
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  10. The Contingency of the Cultural Evolution of Morality, Debunking, and Theism Vs. Naturalism.Matthew Braddock - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. pp. 179-201.
    Is the cultural evolution of morality fairly contingent? Could cultural evolution have easily led humans to moral norms and judgments that are mostly false by our present lights? If so, does it matter philosophically? Yes, or so we argue. We empirically motivate the contingency of cultural evolution and show that it makes two major philosophical contributions. First, it shows that moral objectivists cannot explain the reliability of our moral judgments and thus strengthens moral debunking arguments. Second, it shows that the (...)
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  11. Precision Medicine, Data, and the Anthropology of Social Status.Hugh Desmond - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (4):80-83.
    The success of precision medicine depends on obtaining large amounts of information about at-risk populations. However, getting consent is often difficult. Why? In this commentary I point to the differentials in social status involved. These differentials are inevitable once personal information is surrendered, but are particularly intense when the studied populations are socioeconomically or socioculturally disadvantaged and/or ethnically stigmatized groups. I suggest how the deep distrust of the latter groups can be partially justified as a lack of confidence that their (...)
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  12. A dilemma for evolutionary debunking arguments.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):45-69.
    Evolutionary debunkers claim that evolutionary explanations of moral phenomena lead to sceptical conclusions. The aim of this paper is to show that even if we grant debunkers the speculative claims that evolution provides the best explanation of moral phenomena and that there are no other moral phenomena for which moral facts/properties are indispensable, the sceptical conclusions debunkers seek to establish still do not follow. The problem for debunkers is to link the empirical explanatory claim to the normative conclusion that moral (...)
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  13. The Cultural Evolution of Extended Benevolence.Andres Luco - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 153-177.
    Abstract In The Descent of Man (1879), Charles Darwin proposed a speculative evolutionary explanation of extended benevolence—a human sympathetic capacity that extends to all nations, races, and even to all sentient beings. This essay draws on twenty-first century social science to show that Darwin’s explanation is correct in its broad outlines. Extended benevolence is manifested in institutions such as legal human rights and democracy, in behaviors such as social movements for human rights and the protection of nonhuman animals, and in (...)
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  14. Nietzsche’s Theory of Empathy.Vasfi O. Özen - 2021 - Philosophical Papers 50 (1-2):235-280.
    Nietzsche is not known for his theory of empathy. A quick skimming of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on empathy demonstrates this. Arthur Schopenhauer, Robert Vischer, and Theodor Lipps are among those whose views are considered representative, but Nietzsche has been simply forgotten in discussion of empathy. Nietzsche’s theory of empathy has not yet aroused sufficient interest among commentators. I believe that his views on this subject merit careful consideration. Nietzsche scholars have been interested in his naturalistic accounts of (...)
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  15. Social Animals and the Potential for Morality: On the Cultural Exaptation of Behavioral Capacities Required for Normativity.Estelle Palao - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 111-134.
    To help bridge the explanatory gap of how normativity branched off into morality in the course of evolutionary history, I claim that morality is a form of social normativity, specifically a form of cultural normativity. Furthermore, with the origins of its behavioral capacities rooted in normative practice, morality should be considered as an exaptation, a secondary adaptation shaped through cultural selection and evolution. Cultural selection pressures differ across social groups, as well as various species. Empirical evidence has shown that animals (...)
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  16. Biological Markets, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Morality.Joeri Witteveen - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):401-430.
    Biological market theory has in recent years become an important part of the social evolutionist’s toolkit. This article discusses the explanatory potential and pitfalls of biological market theory in the context of big picture accounts of the evolution of human cooperation and morality. I begin by assessing an influential account that presents biological market dynamics as a key driver of the evolution of fairness norms in humans. I argue that this account is problematic for theoretical, empirical, and conceptual reasons. After (...)
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  17. Morality as Cognitive Scaffolding in the Nucleus of the Mesoamerican Cosmovision.Alfredo Robles Zamora - 2021 - In J. De Smedt & H. De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Oxford, Reino Unido:
    The aim of this chapter is to investigate changes and continuities of human moral systems from an evolutionary and socio-historical perspective. Specifically, I will argue that these systems can be approached through the lens of non-genetic inheritance systems and niche construction. I will examine morality from a comparative socio-historical perspective. From this, I suggest that these inheritance systems are cognitively scaffolded, and that these scaffolds are part of the nucleus of the historical Mesoamerican cosmovision.
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  18. Naïve Normativity: The Social Foundation of Moral Cognition.Kristin Andrews - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):36-56.
    To answer tantalizing questions such as whether animals are moral or how morality evolved, I propose starting with a somewhat less fraught question: do animals have normative cognition? Recent psychological research suggests that normative thinking, or ought-thought, begins early in human development. Recent philosophical research suggests that folk psychology is grounded in normative thought. Recent primatology research finds evidence of sophisticated cultural and social learning capacities in great apes. Drawing on these three literatures, I argue that the human variety of (...)
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  19. No need to get up from the armchair.Dan Baras - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):575-590.
    Several authors believe that metaethicists ought to leave their comfortable armchairs and engage with serious empirical research. This paper provides partial support for the opposing view, that metaethics is rightly conducted from the armchair. It does so by focusing on debunking arguments against robust moral realism. Specifically, the article discusses arguments based on the possibility that if robust realism is correct, then our beliefs are most likely insensitive to the relevant truths. These arguments seem at first glance to be dependent (...)
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  20. Chimpanzee Normativity: Evidence and Objections.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-28.
    This paper considers the question of whether chimpanzees possess at least a primitive sense of normativity: i.e., some ability to internalize and enforce social norms—rules governing appropriate and inappropriate behaviour—within their social groups, and to make evaluations of others’ behaviour in light of such norms. A number of scientists and philosophers have argued that such a sense of normativity does exist in chimpanzees and in several other non-human primate and mammalian species. However, the dominant view in the scientific and philosophical (...)
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  21. The Coevolution of Sacred Value and Religion.Toby Handfield - 2020 - Religion, Brain and Behavior 10 (3):252-271.
    Sacred value attitudes involve a distinctive profile of norm psychology: an absolutist prohibition on transgressing the value, combined with outrage at even hypothetical transgressions. This article considers three mechanisms by which such attitudes may be adaptive, and relates them to central theories regarding the evolution of religion. The first, “deterrence” mechanism functions to dissuade coercive expropriation of valuable resources. This mechanism explains the existence of sacred value attitudes prior to the development of religion and also explains analogues of sacred value (...)
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  22. Flowers and Honeybees: A Study of Morality in Nature.Christopher Ketcham - 2020 - Leyden: Brill | Rodopi.
    The journey towards morality in nature can be seen through the million-year-old relationship of the flowering plant and honeybee social group. _Flowers and Honeybees_ brings what science has learned into a dialog with the philosophy of morality.
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  23. Against Minimalist Responses to Moral Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15:309-332.
    Moral debunking arguments are meant to show that, by realist lights, moral beliefs are not explained by moral facts, which in turn is meant to show that they lack some significant counterfactual connection to the moral facts (e.g., safety, sensitivity, reliability). The dominant, “minimalist” response to the arguments—sometimes defended under the heading of “third-factors” or “pre-established harmonies”—involves affirming that moral beliefs enjoy the relevant counterfactual connection while granting that these beliefs are not explained by the moral facts. We show that (...)
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  24. The Social Function of Morality.Andreas Müller - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael Van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 135–158.
    This chapter discusses various attempts at deriving metaethical conclusions from claims about the function of morality. In doing so, it will, for the most part, grant the truth of such function claims and focus on what metaethical theses they do and do not support. After briefly surveying various recent proposals that rely on functions claims in an attempt to debunk the possibility of robust moral truth and knowledge, the chapter focusses on the contrary, vindicatory project. The proponents of this project (...)
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  25. 大卫·巴斯对《隔壁谋杀者》的评论(2005年)(2019年修订版) (A Review of The Murderer Next Door by David Buss (2005)).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In 欢迎来到地球上的地狱: 婴儿,气候变化,比特币,卡特尔,中国,民主,多样性,养成基因,平等,黑客,人权,伊斯兰教,自由主义,繁荣,网络,混乱。饥饿,疾病,暴力,人工智能,战争. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 258-267.
    虽然这本书有点过时,但最近很少有畅销书专门讨论谋杀的心理,它是一个快速概述,可以几美元,所以仍然非常值得努力。它不试图全面,在有些地方有点肤浅,读者期望填补他许多其他书籍和大量关于暴力的文献的空白。有 关更新,请参阅 Buss,《进化心理学手册》第二部。 V1 (2016) p 265, 266, 270*282, 388*389, 545*546, 547, 566 和总线, 进化心理学 5 ed. (2015) p 26, 96*97,223, 293-4, 300, 309*312, 410 和沙克福德和汉森,暴力的演变(2014年)。几十年来,他一直是顶尖的进化心理学家之一,在他的作品中涵盖了广泛的行为,但在这里,他几乎全神贯注于导致个人谋杀的心理机制及其可能EEA(进化适应环境——即非 洲近百万年平原)中的进化函数。 Buss首先指出,与其他行为一样,诸如心理病理学、嫉妒、社会环境、群体压力、毒品和酒精等的"另类"解释并没有真正解释,因为问题仍然存在,为什么这些原因杀人冲动,即,它们是近因,而不 是最终的进化(遗传)原因。和往常一样,它不可避免地归结为包容性健身(亲属选择),因此,为了获得配偶和资源而挣扎,这是所有生物体中所有行为的最终解释。社会学数据(和常识)清楚地表明,较年轻的贫穷男性最有 可能被杀死。他介绍了自己和其他人来自工业化国家的杀人数据,以及部落文化、动物的杀人、考古学、FBI数据以及他自己对正常人杀人幻想的研究。许多考古证据继续积累谋杀,包括整个群体,或群体减去年轻女性,在史 前时代。 在调查了Buss的评论之后,我提出了一个非常简短的心理总结(理性的逻辑结构),在我的许多其他文章和书籍中广泛报道了这一点。 那些有很多时间想要从进化的角度详细的历史杀人暴力可能会参考史蒂文·平克的"我们自然中的更好的天使为什么暴力已经下降"(2012年),我的评论,很容易在网上获得和我最近两本书简单地说 ,平克指出,谋杀已经稳步和急剧地减少约30倍,因为我们的日子作为觅食者。因此,尽管枪支现在使任何人很容易杀人,但杀人却少了很多。平克认为,这是由于各种社会机制,带出我们的'更好的天使',但我认为这主要 是由于暂时丰富的资源,从无情的强奸我们的星球,加上增加的警力,与通信和监视和法律制度,使其更有可能受到惩罚。每当有警察短暂而无地方时,情况就变得很明显了。 那些希望从现代两个系统的观点来看为人类行为建立一个全面的最新框架的人,可以查阅我的书《路德维希的哲学、心理学、Min d和语言的逻辑结构》维特根斯坦和约翰·西尔的《第二部》(2019年)。那些对我更多的作品感兴趣的人可能会看到《会说话的猴子——一个末日星球上的哲学、心理学、科学、宗教和政治——文章和评论2006-20 19年第3次(2019年)和自杀乌托邦幻想21篇世纪五(2019年)。 .
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  26. Review of The Evolution of Moral Progress: A Biocultural Theory by Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell. [REVIEW]Michael Brownstein & Daniel Kelly - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Review of Books 1:1-14.
    Allen Buchanan and Russel Powell’s The Evolution of Moral Progress (EMP) is likely to become a landmark. It adeptly builds on much of the recent empirical work, weaving it together with philosophical material drawn from a series of essays published by the two authors. EMP makes the case that moral progress is not only consistent with human psychology but—under some conditions—likely. At its heart is a careful, well-developed rebuttal to the idea that there are evolved constraints endogenous to human minds (...)
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  27. If There Are No Diachronic Norms of Rationality, Why Does It Seem Like There Are?Ryan Doody - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):141-173.
    I offer an explanation for why certain sequences of decisions strike us as irrational while others do not. I argue that we have a standing desire to tell flattering yet plausible narratives about ourselves, and that cases of diachronic behavior that strike us as irrational are those in which you had the opportunity to hide something unflattering and failed to do so.
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  28. On Social Tolerance and the Evolution of Human Normative Guidance.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):523-549.
    Discussions about the evolution of human social cognition usually portray the social environment of early hominins as highly hierarchical and violent. In this evolutionary narrative, our propensity for violence was overcome in our lineage by an increase in our intellectual capacities. However, I will argue in this article that we are at least equally justified in believing that our early hominin ancestors were less aggressive and hierarchical than is suggested in these models. This view is consistent with the available comparative (...)
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  29. Constructivism, Intersubjectivity, Provability, and Triviality.Andrea Guardo - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):515-527.
    Sharon Street defines her constructivism about practical reasons as the view that whether something is a reason to do a certain thing for a given agent depends on that agent’s normative point of view. However, Street has also maintained that there is a judgment about practical reasons which is true relative to every possible normative point of view, namely constructivism itself. I show that the latter thesis is inconsistent with Street’s own constructivism about epistemic reasons and discuss some consequences of (...)
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  30. 弥生時代中期における戦争:人骨と人口動態の関係から(Prehistoric Warfare in the Middle Phase of the Yayoi Period in Japan : Human Skeletal Remains and Demography).Tomomi Nakagawa, Hisashi Nakao, Kohei Tamura, Yuji Yamaguchi, Naoko Matsumoto & Takehiko Matsugi - 2019 - Journal of Computer Archaeology 1 (24):10-29.
    It has been commonly claimed that prehistoric warfare in Japan began in the Yayoi period. Population increases due to the introduction of agriculture from the Korean Peninsula to Japan resulted in the lack of land for cultivation and resources for the population, eventually triggering competition over land. This hypothesis has been supported by the demographic data inferred from historical changes in Kamekan, a burial system used especially in the Kyushu area in the Yayoi period. The present study aims to examine (...)
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  31. La supresión transitoria de los peores demonios de nuestra naturaleza-una revisión de ' Los Mejores Angeles de Nuestro Naturaleza: por qué la violencia ha disminuido ' (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined’ (2012)(revisión revisada 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Delirios Utópicos Suicidas en el Siglo 21 La filosofía, la naturaleza humana y el colapso de la civilización Artículos y reseñas 2006-2019 4a Edición. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 339-343.
    Este no es un libro perfecto, pero es único, y si usted hojean las primeras 400 o así páginas, el último 300 (de unos 700) son un buen intento de aplicar lo que se sabe sobre el comportamiento a los cambios sociales en la violencia y las costumbres con el tiempo. El tema básico es: ¿Cómo controla y limita el cambio social nuestra genética? Sorprendentemente, no puede describir la naturaleza de la selección de parientes (aptitud inclusiva) que explica gran parte (...)
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  32. The Difference Between the Scope of a Norm and Its Apparent Source.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:E97.
    We should distinguish between the apparent source of a norm and the scope of the norm's satisfaction conditions. Wide-scope social norms need not be externalised, and externalised social norms need not be wide in scope. Attending to this distinction leads to a problem for Stanford: The adaptive advantages he attributes to externalised norms are actually advantages of wide-scope norms.
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  33. Power in Cultural Evolution and the Spread of Prosocial Norms.Nathan Cofnas - 2018 - Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (4):297–318.
    According to cultural evolutionary theory in the tradition of Boyd and Richerson, cultural evolution is driven by individuals' learning biases, natural selection, and random forces. Learning biases lead people to preferentially acquire cultural variants with certain contents or in certain contexts. Natural selection favors individuals or groups with fitness-promoting variants. Durham (1991) argued that Boyd and Richerson's approach is based on a "radical individualism" that fails to recognize that cultural variants are often "imposed" on people regardless of their individual decisions. (...)
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  34. Objectivity.Ross Colebrook & Hagop Sarkissian - 2018 - In Todd K. Shackelford & Vivian A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.
    In this entry, we outline the ways in which evolutionary theory has implications for the objectivity of morality.
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  35. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    There are at least three different genealogical accounts of morality: the ontogenetic, the sociohistorical, and the evolutionary. One can thus construct, in principle, three distinct genealogical debunking arguments of morality, i.e., arguments that appeal to empirical data, or to an empirical hypothesis, about the origin of morality to undermine either its ontological foundation or the epistemic credentials of our moral beliefs. The genealogical account that has been, particularly since the early 2000s, the topic of a burgeoning line of inquiry in (...)
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  36. Moral Skepticism: An Introduction and Overview.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-31.
    In this introductory chapter, I not only present the essays that make up this volume but also I offer an extensive critical overview of moral skepticism with the hope that it will turn out to be useful particularly to the uninitiated reader. I first provide a taxonomy of varieties of moral skepticism, then discuss the main arguments advanced in their favor, and finally summarize the ten essays here collected, which deal with one or more of those skeptical stances and arguments.
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  37. Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality.James Davison Hunter & Paul Nedelisky - 2018 - Yale University Press.
    _Why efforts to create a scientific basis of morality are doomed to fail_ In this illuminating book, James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky recount the centuries-long, passionate quest to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The "new moral science" led by such figures as E.O. Wilson, Patricia Churchland and Joshua Greene is only the newest manifestation of an effort that has failed repeatedly. Though claims for its accomplishments are often wildly exaggerated, this new iteration has been no more successful than (...)
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  38. Externalization is Common to All Value Judgments, and Norms Are Motivating Because of Their Intersubjective Grounding.Carme Isern-Mas & Antoni Gomila - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:21-21.
    We show that externalization is a feature not only of moral judgment, but also of value judgment in general. It follows that the evolution of externalization was not specific to moral judgment. Second, we argue that value judgments cannot be decoupled from the level of motivations and preferences, which, in the moral case, rely on intersubjective bonds and claims.
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  39. Must Realists Be Skeptics? An Aristotelian Reply to a Darwinian Dilemma.Micah Lott - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):71-96.
    In a series of influential essays, Sharon Street has argued, on the basis of Darwinian considerations, that normative realism leads to skepticism about moral knowledge. I argue that if we begin with the account of moral knowledge provided by Aristotelian naturalism, then we can offer a satisfactory realist response to Street’s argument, and that Aristotelian naturalism can avoid challenges facing other realist responses. I first explain Street’s evolutionary argument and three of the most prominent realist responses, and I identify challenges (...)
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  40. Moral Skepticism: New Essays.Diego E. Machuca (ed.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    Moral skepticism is at present a vibrant topic of philosophical inquiry. Particularly since the turn of the millennium, the metaethical study of skepticism has profited from advances in general epistemology and findings in empirical sciences, in light of which new arguments for and against moral skepticism have been devised, while the traditional ones have been reexamined. This collection of original essays by leading metaethicists will advance the ongoing debates about various forms of moral skepticism by drawing on recent innovative work (...)
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  41. Disgust as a Mechanism for Externalization: Coordination and Disassociation.Isaac Wiegman - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    I extend Stanford’s proposal in two ways by focusing on a possible mechanism of externalization: disgust. First, I argue that externalization also has value for solving coordination problems where interests of different groups coincide. Second, Stanford’s proposal also holds promise for explaining why people “over-comply” with norms through disassociation, or the avoidance of actions that merely appear to violate norms.
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  42. Michael Tomasello: A Natural History of Human Morality. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2017 - BJPS Review of Books 2017.
    Working together creates mutual obligations. For example, the members of a football team owe it to each other to work hard for the good of the team. A player who doesn’t try hard enough, or who makes a costly mistake, lets the side down. When the team loses, feelings of responsibility, guilt, and shame ensue. Players ought to feel committed to the team and responsible for its failures. If they don’t, they deserve to be dropped. The idea at the heart (...)
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  43. Dividing the Pleistocene Pie (Review of Nicolas Baumard: The Origins of Fairness). [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch & Joeri Witteveen - 2017 - BioScience 67 (2):180-182.
    The sense of fairness is a central aspect of human moral psychology. Intuitions about fairness lead to many widespread moral beliefs, such as the belief that the punishment should fit the crime or the belief that one deserves a fair share of what one has earned. In The Origins of Fairness, Nicolas Baumard sets out to shed light on the evolutionary origin of these intuitions. He argues that the human sense of fairness is innate and universal, and he offers an (...)
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  44. Debunking Arguments From Insensitivity.Matthew Braddock - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2):91-113.
    Heightened awareness of the origins of our moral judgments pushes many in the direction of moral skepticism, in the direction of thinking we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments on a realist understanding of the moral truths. A classic debunking argument fleshes out this worry: the best explanation of our moral judgments does not appeal to their truth, so we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments. But it is unclear how to get from the explanatory premise to the (...)
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  45. Knowing What Matters.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2017 - In Peter Singer (ed.), Does Anything Really Matter? Essays on Parfit on Objectivity. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-167.
    Parfit's On What Matters offers a rousing defence of non-naturalist normative realism against pressing metaphysical and epistemological objections. He addresses skeptical arguments based on (i) the causal origins of our normative beliefs, and (ii) the appearance of pervasive moral disagreement. In both cases, he concedes the first step to the skeptic, but draws a subsequent distinction with which he hopes to stem the skeptic's advance. I argue, however, that these distinctions cannot bear the weight that Parfit places on them. A (...)
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  46. The Swashbuckling Anthropologist: Henrich on The Secret of Our Success. [REVIEW]Ellen Clarke & Cecilia Heyes - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):289-305.
    In The Secret of Our Success, Joseph Henrich claims that human beings are unique—different from all other animals—because we engage in cumulative cultural evolution. It is the technological and social products of cumulative cultural evolution, not the intrinsic rationality or ‘smartness’ of individual humans, that enable us to live in a huge range of different habitats, and to dominate most of the creatures who share those habitats with us. We are sympathetic to this general view, the latest expression of the (...)
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  47. Is Market Liberalism Adaptive? Rethinking F. A. Hayek on Moral Evolution.Filipe Nobre Faria - 2017 - Journal of Bioeconomics 19 (3):307–326.
    Hayek’s social theory of evolution suggests that market liberal morality is adaptive for social groups. He justified the evolutionary superiority of market liberalism by asserting that groups operating under a market liberal morality would have a higher capacity to expand and reproduce than groups with alternative tribal moralities. Thus, market liberal groups would be favoured through cultural and genetic group selection. But in fact, market liberal morality reveals maladaptive tendencies and remains insufficiently powerful to create adaptive social groups. Hayek’s dismissal (...)
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  48. Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human species. (...)
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  49. On Social Tolerance and the Evolution of Human Normative Guidance.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx017.
    Discussions about the evolution of human social cognition usually portray the social environment of early hominins as highly hierarchical and violent. In this evolutionary narrative, our propensity for violence was overcome in our lineage by an increase in our intellectual capacities. However, I will argue in this article that we are at least equally justified in believing that our early hominin ancestors were less aggressive and hierarchical than is suggested in these models. This view is consistent with the available comparative (...)
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  50. Sharing Our Normative Worlds: A Theory of Normative Thinking.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2017 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    This thesis focuses on the evolution of human social norm psychology. More precisely, I want to show how the emergence of our distinctive capacity to follow social norms and make social normative judgments is connected to the lineage explanation of our capacity to form shared intentions, and how such capacity is related to a diverse cluster of prototypical moral judgments. I argue that in explaining the evolution of this form of normative cognition we also require an understanding of the developmental (...)
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