How a Kantian can accept evolutionary metaethics

Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):303-326 (1997)
Contrary to widely held assumptions, an evolutionary metaethics need not be non-cognitivist. I define evolutionary metaethics as the claim that certain phenotypic traits expressing certain genes are both necessary and sufficient for explanation of all other phenotypic traits we consider morally significant. A review of the influential cognitivist Immanuel Kants metaethics shows that much of his ethical theory is independent of the anti-naturalist metaphysics of transcendental idealism which itself is incompatible with evolutionary metaethics. By matching those independent aspects to an evolutionary metaethics a cognitivist Kantian evolutionary metaethical theory is a possibility for researchers to consider.
Keywords altruism  cognitivism  ethics  evolutionary ethics  human sociobiology  Kant  Kantian  metaethics  morality  non-cognitivism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006521907071
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