David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):1-16 (2012)
A key question for research on the evolutionary origins of morality concerns just what the target of an evolutionary explanation of morality should be. Some researchers focus on behaviors, others on systems of norms, yet others on moral emotions. Richard Joyce (2006) offers an evolutionary explanation for the trait of making moral judgments. Here, I defend Joyce’s account of moral judgment against two objections from Stephen Stich (2008). Stich’s first objection concerns the supposed universality of moral judgments as Joyce conceives of them. I respond by undermining the empirical evidence upon which this objection is based. Stich’s second objection concerns the extent of the moral domain, which he takes to include far more than the considerations of harm and fairness central to Joyce’s account. In response, I outline several strategies for reconciling Stich’s observations with Joyce’s account.
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References found in this work BETA
David Brink (1997). Kantian Rationalism: Inescapability, Authority, and Supremacy. In Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford University Press. 255--291.
Marc Hauser (2006). Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. Harper Collins.
David Hume (1777/2004). An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Prometheus Books.
R. Joyce (2000). Darwinian Ethics and Error. Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):713-732.
Citations of this work BETA
Matteo Mameli (2013). Meat Made Us Moral: A Hypothesis on the Nature and Evolution of Moral Judgment. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):903-931.
Benjamin James Fraser (2014). Mind the Gap(S): Sociality, Morality, and Oxytocin. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 29 (1):143-150.
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