The evolution of the moral sentiments and the metaphysics of morals

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):97 - 114 (2009)
Abstract
So-called evolutionary error theorists, such as Michael Ruse and Richard Joyce, have argued that naturalistic accounts of the moral sentiments lead us to adopt an error theory approach to morality. Roughly, the argument is that an appreciation of the etiology of those sentiments undermines any reason to think that they track moral truth and, furthermore, undermines any reason to think that moral truth actually exists. I argue that this approach offers us a false dichotomy between error theory and some form of moral realism. While accepting the presuppositions of the evolutionary error theorist, I argue that contract-based approaches to morality can be sensitive to those presuppositions while still vindicating morality. Invoking Stephen Darwall’s distinction between contractualism and contractarianism, I go on to offer an evolutionary-based contractarianism.
Keywords Evolutionary ethics  Error theory  Contractualism/contractarianism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,101
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

View all 42 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

112 ( #10,317 of 1,102,113 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #19,530 of 1,102,113 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.