Adaptation, Exaptation, By-Products and Spandrels in Evolutionary Explanations of Morality

Biological Theory 5 (3):223-227 (2010)
Adaptationist accounts of morality attempt to explain the evolution of morality in terms of the selective advantage that judging in moral terms secured for our ancestors (e.g. Ruse 1998; Joyce 2006; Street 2006). So-called by-product explanations of morality have been presented as an alternative to adaptationist accounts (e.g. Prinz 2009; Ayala 2010; cf. Darwin 2004/1871). In assessing the relationship between adaptationist and by-product accounts, care must be taken to distinguish several related but importantly different notions: innateness, adaptation, exaptation, spandrel, and by-product.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1162/BIOT_a_00052
 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: 16,667
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
Jesse J. Prinz (2007). Can Moral Obligations Be Empirically Discovered? Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):271–291.
R. Joyce (2000). Darwinian Ethics and Error. Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):713-732.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Marc Artiga (2015). Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality. Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
M. D. Rutherford (2002). It's Adaptations All the Way Down. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):526-526.
William F. Harms (2000). Adaptation and Moral Realism. Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):699-712.
Nicholas S. Thompson (2002). Adaptation for, Exaptation As. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):531-532.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

76 ( #44,510 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #74,830 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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