Distinguishing between evolution of morality, morality from evolution, and morality of evolution

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Evolution of morality discussions are sometimes derailed by well-intended objections such as 1) “Science and morality occupy different domains of nonoverlapping magisteria”, (2) “You are committing the elementary logical error of deriving a moral ‘ought’ from what ‘is’”, and 3) … Continue reading

Review of Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation (2013) Edited by Martin A. Nowak and Sarah Coakley

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A more accurate, but less ‘catchy’, main title would have been Evolution, Games, Morality, and the Evolution of Religion.  Readers whose main focus is on the evolution of morality and its secular ethical implications, as is mine, can be assured … Continue reading

Plato’s description of the Evolutionary Origins of Morality: Just Substitute Biological and Cultural Evolution for Zeus

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“In Plato’s Protagoras there is an avowedly mythical account (told by the Greek philosopher Protagoras) of how Zeus took pity on the hapless humans, who, living in small groups and with inadequate teeth, weak claws, and lack of speed, were … Continue reading

How science can end moral philosophy’s dependence on personal perceptions

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Moral philosophy often makes use of personal perceptions of moral intuitions and durable well-being (or happiness or flourishing) to judge the worth of foundational moral premises such as those underlying Utilitarianism, egoism, and virtue ethics. For John Rawls’ “reflective equilibrium … Continue reading

Ethical implications of understanding social morality as an evolutionary adaptation

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What kind of moral objectivity does science provide and how might understanding morality as an evolutionary adaptation be culturally useful? Over the last 35 years, it has been becoming progressively clearer that social morality, morality dealing with other people and … Continue reading