Mating intelligence, moral virtues, and methodological vices


According to the ‘mating intelligence’ theory by evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, human morality is a system of sexually selected traits which serve as costly signals to the other sex about one’s fitness and readiness to take care for possible offspring. Starting from the standard prediction of evolutionary psychology that sexual selection produces psychological sex differences in human mating strategies, ‘mating intelligence’ theory is analyzed for its compatibility with several psychological theories about sex differences in moral traits like moral reasoning, judgment and orientation. It is argued that the ‘mating intelligence’ theory, as a theory about the the evolution of morality, comes too dangerously close to being unfalsifiable because it embodies some auxiliary hypotheses and vague definitions which make it practically immune to every possible empirical finding concerning sex differences in human moral traits.



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Tomislav Bracanovic
University of Zagreb

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