Evolutionary psychology in the service of moral philosophy: A possible future for ethics?

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 25 (1):48-63 (2011)
The question this essay takes up is that of whether Ethics as a discipline has something to learn from the literature in evolutionary moral psychology and if this mode of explanation should be part of its future. Its primary thesis is that Ethics does have much to learn because the sciences that study the evolutionary mechanisms by which ethical judgments are produced will allow us, in a naturalist and pragmatist fashion, to better understand the possibilities for achieving our ethical goals. They will do so not because they demonstrate that all effective and achievable moralities must be anchored in evolutionarily derived moral faculties or intuitions but because these sciences can help to reveal the means by which our culturally derived ethical ideals might be realized as well as indicate the innate psychological and psychosocial stumbling blocks and hurdles to these ideals’ realization.
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DOI 10.1353/jsp.2011.0006
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