Ruse's Darwinian meta-ethics: A critique [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439 (1993)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Michael Ruse, in Taking Darwin Seriously seeks to establish that taking Darwin seriously requires us to treat morality as subjective and naturalistic. I argue that, if morality is not objective, then we have no good reason for being moral if we can avoid detection and punishment. As a consequence, we will only continue to behave morally as long as we remain ignorant of Ruse''s theory, that is, as long as the cat is not let out of the bag. Ruse offers a number of arguments to show that his theory can overcome such problems. I argue that they all fail. Ruse also argues that he can offer a naturalistic account of ethics which steps around the naturalistic fallacy and avoids the confusion of reasons with causes. His principal argument for this view is an analogy between spiritualism and morality. I argue that this analogy fails.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,213

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Taking the ‘Error’ Out of Ruse‘s Error Theory.James A. Ryan - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):385-397.
A defense of Darwinian accounts of morality.John Lemos - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (3):361-385.
Ruse's Treatment of the Evidence for Evolution: A Reconsideration.Alexander Rosenberg - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:83 - 93.


Added to PP

94 (#156,469)

6 months
1 (#863,981)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

The Republic.Paul Plato & Shorey - 2000 - ePenguin. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.
The miracle of theism: arguments for and against the existence of God.J. L. Mackie - 1982 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Bernard Williams.
The Idea of a Social Science.Peter Winch - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (2):247-248.

View all 16 references / Add more references