Moral ape philosophy

Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):891-904 (2011)
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Abstract

Our closest relative the chimpanzee seems to display proto-moral behavior. Some scholars emphasize the similarities between humans and chimpanzees, others some key differences. This paper aims is to formulate a set of intermediate conditions between a sometimes helpful chimpanzee and moral man. I specify these intermediate conditions as requirements for the chimpanzees, and for each requirement I take on a verificationist stance and ask what the empirical conditions that satisfy it would be. I ask what would plausibly count as the behavioral correlate of each requirement, when implemented. I take a philosophical look at morality using the chimpanzees as a prism. We will talk of propositional attitudes, rationality and reason in relation to the chimps. By means of the chimps I intend to arrive at a notion of objective morality as conceived from a first person point of view in terms of propositional attitudes and reasons

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Author Profiles

Jelle De Boer
University of Amsterdam
Jelle De De Boer
Delft University of Technology

References found in this work

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

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