Philosophy 58 (225):365- (1983)
|Abstract||Apology is due, not only for the delay but for the impatient tone of my article. One should not lose oneÂ’s temper, and doing so always makes for confused argument. My basic objections remain. But I certainly ought to have expressed them more clearly and temperately. This reply must, I think, concentrate simply on explaining the background of reasons why these objections matter. I shall have very little to say directly about MackieÂ’s argument, since it was chiefly just a very fair and sympathetic exposition of Dawkins' views. Mackie himself drew only very modest conclusions from them, and avoided the excesses of psychological egoism, as of course he also does in his own book. But this still leaves two serious worries. In the first place I do not think that The Selfish Gene itself, on any natural interpretation, does avoid those excesses. In the second, even when modestly interpreted, I think it is far too one-sided a book to be picked out and used in isolation for the re-education of moral philosophy in the biological facts of life|
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