Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 8 (2):133-151 (1993)
|Abstract||This paper makes an attempt at the conceptual foundation of descriptive ethical theories in terms of evolutionary anthropology. It suggests, first, that what human social actors tend to accept to be morally valid and legitimate ultimately rests upon empirical authority relations and, second, that this acceptance follows an evolved pattern of hierarchical behaviour control in the social animal species. The analysis starts with a brief review of Thomas Hobbes'' moral philosophy, with special emphasis on Hobbes'' authoritarian view of moral validity and of the common political origins and ultimate basis of legitimacy of moral and legal systems. Hobbes'' philosophical conceptions are then put into the context of Max Weber''s influential empirical theory of legitimacy, especially charismatic revelation and authority as the ultimate source of all moral, legal and religious obligations. Weber''s concept of charismatic authority is given a biobehavioural interpretation in terms of ritualised status signals indicating an individual''s superior physical and emotional dispositions to control the social actions of others. Various conclusions are drawn concerning the concept of moral validity and its possible evolutionary interpretations.|
|Keywords||Ethical non-cognitivism metaethics ritualisation dominance behaviour charismatic authority|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Garrath Williams (2000). Normatively Demanding Creatures: Hobbes, the Fall and Individual Responsibility. Res Publica 6 (3):301-319.
Jurriaan De Haan (2001). The Definition of Moral Dilemmas: A Logical Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267 - 284.
Thomas W. Smythe & Thomas G. Evans (2007). Intuition as a Basic Source of Moral Knowledge. Philosophia 35 (2):233-247.
P. X. Monaghan (2010). A Novel Interpretation of Plato's Theory of Forms. Metaphysica 11 (1):63-78.
Patrick Riley (2007). Kant Against Hobbes in Theory and Practice. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (2):194-206.
Peter J. Taylor (1994). Shifting Frames: From Divided to Distributed Psychologies of Scientific Agents. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:304 - 310.
Simcha B. Werner (1992). The Movement for Reforming American Business Ethics: A Twenty-Year Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 11 (1):61 - 70.
Gebhard Geiger (1992). Why There Are No Objective Values: A Critique of Ethical Intuitionism From an Evolutionary Point of View. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):315-330.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #246,694 of 739,474 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?