A more thought-ful ape?

Biology and Philosophy 38 (4):1-12 (2023)
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Abstract

In A Better Ape, Victor Kumar and Richmond Campbell (2022) provide an ambitious and compelling history of the evolution of human morality. Informed by evidence from an impressively vast multidisciplinary literature, they offer a rich bio-cultural evolutionary explanation of how the human moral mind arose and developed over time that has wide appeal for philosophers and scientists alike. In this paper, I examine Kumar and Campbell’s novel moral psychology and raise questions about their account of the relationship between moral norms and core moral emotions. I also argue that social essentialist cognition has a place alongside the moral emotions as a key ingredient in Kumar and Campbell’s view of the moral mind as well as in their normative account of how to work towards moral progress.

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Mara Bollard
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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References found in this work

The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A Better Ape: The Evolution of the Moral Mind and How it Made Us Human.Victor Kumar & Richmond Campbell - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Edited by Richmond Campbell.
Core knowledge.Elizabeth S. Spelke & Katherine D. Kinzler - 2007 - Developmental Science 10 (1):89-96.

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