Biology and Philosophy 1 (3):265-293 (1986)

From Charles Darwin to Edward Wilson, evolutionary biologists have attempted to construct systems of evolutionary ethics. These attempts have been roundly criticized, most often for having committed the naturalistic fallacy. In this essay, I review the history of previous efforts at formulating an evolutionary ethics, focusing on the proposals of Darwin and Wilson. I then advance and defend a proposal of my own. In the last part of the essay, I try to demonstrate that my revised version of evolutionary ethics: (1) does not commit the naturalistic fallacy as it is usually understood; (2) does, admittedly, derive values from facts; but (3) does not commit any fallacy in doing so.
Keywords altruism  Darwin  ethics  evolution  naturalistic fallacy  sociobiology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00127104
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,577
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Darwinian Ethics and Error.Richard Joyce - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):713-732.

View all 49 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Naturalistic Fallacy.Julia Tanner - 2006 - Richmond Journal of Philosophy 13.


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #177,154 of 2,533,615 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #163,878 of 2,533,615 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes