Evolution, animals, and the basis of morality

Inquiry 22 (1-4):81 – 99 (1979)
Some have supposed that morality has its basis in altruistic emotions implanted in accordance with the standard principles of natural selection. It is argued, to the contrary, that the falsity of group selection theory precludes founding genuine altruism on such a basis, and that the correct theory of evolution renders morality possible only if a cognitivist conception of moral psychology is accepted. Some independent reasons are given for favouring that conception over its noncognitivist rival. Morality is then claimed to be a necessary corollary of advanced intelligence, so that morality cannot easily be selected against. Finally, the bearing of the foregoing considerations on the normative contention commonly labelled 'species-ism' is assessed; it is concluded that a proper view of morality suggests the inclusion of (other) animals within its domain of concern.
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References found in this work BETA
John McDowell (1969). Identity Mistakes: Plato and the Logical Atomists. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 70:181 - 195.
T. Nagel (1970). Possibility of Altruism. Princeton University Press.
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