The evolution of cooperative behavior and its implications for ethics

Philosophy of Science 76 (5):915-926 (2009)
While many philosophers agree that evolutionary theory has important implications for the study of ethics, there has been no consensus on what these implications are. I argue that we can better understand these implications by examining two related yet distinct issues in evolutionary theory: the evolution of our moral beliefs and the evolution of cooperative behavior. While the prevailing evolutionary account of morality poses a threat to moral realism, a plausible model of how altruism evolved in human beings provides the grounding for a research program that focuses on achieving some of the more practical goals shared by ethicists. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy, College of Staten Island/City University of New York, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314; e‐mail:
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/605810
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Zachary Ernst (2007). The Liberationists' Attack on Moral Intuitions. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):129 - 142.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #120,994 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.