David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy and Policy 8 (1):121 (1990)
By what steps, historically, did morality emerge? Our remote ancestors evolved into social animals. Sociality requires, among other things, restraints on disruptive sexual, hostile, aggressive, vengeful, and acquisitive behavior. Since we are innately social and not social by convention, we can assume the biological evolution of the emotional equipment – numerous predispositions to want, fear, feel anxious or secure – required for social living, just as we can assume cultural evolution of various means to control antisocial behavior and reinforce the prosocial kind. Small clans consisting, say, of several extended families whose members cooperated in hunting, gathering, defense, and child-rearing could not exist without a combination of innate and social restraints on individual behavior. I shall argue for a naturalistic theory of morality, by which I do not mean the definitional claims G.E. Moore sought to refute, but a broader and more complex theory that maintains that a sufficient understanding of human nature, history, and culture can fully explain morality; that nothing is left hanging. A theory that coherently brings together the needed biological, psychological, and cultural facts I shall call a philosophical anthropology; it is a theory that: 1) takes the good for humans – both an ultimate good and other important goods – to depend on human nature; 2) argues that a rudimentary but improving scientific and philosophical theory of human nature now exists, and thus denies that people are “essenceless”; 3) takes this theory to be evolutionary and historical, making the question “How did morality originate?” pivotal for ethical theory, but leaves open the empirical question of the relative importance of biological and cultural evolution; and 4) takes the origin of the moral ideas to be explainable in terms of human nature and history
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Richmond Campbell (1996). Can Biology Make Ethics Objective? Biology and Philosophy 11 (1):21-31.
Teresa Kwiatkowska (2001). Beyond Uncertainties: Some Open Questions About Chaos and Ethics. Ethics and the Environment 6 (1):96-115.
Similar books and articles
Christoph Wulf (2013). Anthropology: A Continental Perspective. The University of Chicago Press.
Neil Levy (2010). The Prospects for Evolutionary Ethics Today. EurAmerica 40 (3):529-571.
Holly L. Wilson (1997). Kant's Integration of Morality and Anthropology. Kantstudien 88 (1997):87-104.
May M. Edel (1968/2000). Anthropology & Ethics: The Quest for Moral Understanding. Transaction Publishers.
S. Takdir Alisjahbana (1966). Values as Integrating Forces in Personality, Society and Culture: Essay of a New Anthropology. London, Oxford U.P..
Paul Schollmeier (2004). Toward a Rhetoric of Anthropology. Social Epistemology 18 (1):59 – 69.
Anton Charles Pegis (1963). At the Origins of the Thomistic Notion of Man. New York, Macmillan.
Kasper Lysemose (2012). The Being, the Origin and the Becoming of Man: A Presentation of Philosophical Anthropogenealogy and Some Ensuing Methodological Considerations. [REVIEW] Human Studies 35 (1):115-130.
Christian Lotz (2005). From Nature to Culture? Diogenes and Philosophical Anthropology. Human Studies 28 (1):41 - 56.
Jacques Judah Cohen (1937). Philosophical Essays. London, J. Bale, Sons & Curnow, Ltd..
Herbert Marcuse (1969). An Essay on Liberation. Boston, Beacon Press.
Jayandra Soni (1989). Philosophical Anthropology in Śaiva Siddhānta: With Special Reference to Śivāgrayogin. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads15 ( #227,403 of 1,790,308 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #429,822 of 1,790,308 )
How can I increase my downloads?