David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):341-349 (1991)
Robert Richards has presented a detailed defense of evolutionary ethics, a revised version of Darwin's views and a major modification of E. O. Wilson's. He contends that humans have evolved to seek the community welfare by acting altruistically. And since the community welfare is the highest moral good, humans ought to act altruistically. Richards asks us to take his empirical premises on faith and aims to show how they can justify an ethical conclusion. He identifies two necessary conditions for a naturalistic justification of morality (NJ): its premises (1) must be empirical and (2) concerned with morally relevant causal factors. I argue that these two conditions are insufficient. An NJ must also appeal to teleogical or teleonomic laws which identify proper effects and reliable causes of these effects. So I supplement biological faith with an NJ that I believe has a better chance of working since faith without works is dead.
|Keywords||Altruism evolutionary ethics naturalistic justification|
|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
Robert Richards (1989). Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior. Journal of the History of Biology 22 (2):361-367.
L. Wright (1976). Teleological Explanations: An Etiological Analysis of Goals and Functions. University of California Press.
H. Kornblith (ed.) (1994). Naturalizing Epistemology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Ernst Mayr (1974). Teleological and Teleonomic, a New Analysis. In R. S. Cohen & Marx W. Wartofsky (eds.), Methodological and Historical Essays in the Natural and Social Sciences. Boston,Reidel 91--117.
Robert Richards (1986). A Defense of Evolutionary Ethics. Biology and Philosophy 1 (3):265-293.
Citations of this work BETA
William A. Rottschaefer (1995). Gustafson's Theocentrism and Scientific Naturalistic Philosophy: A Marriage Made in Heaven? Zygon 30 (2):211-220.
John Lemos (1999). Bridging the Is/Ought Gap with Evolutionary Biology: Is This a Bridge Too Far? Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):559-577.
Similar books and articles
Peter Woolcock (1993). Ruse's Darwinian Meta-Ethics: A Critique. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439.
Wim J. van der Steen (1999). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology. XII. Against Evolutionary Ethics. Acta Biotheoretica 47 (1):41-57.
David Sloan Wilson, Eric Dietrich & Anne B. Clark (2003). On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):669-81.
Jonathan Barrett (1991). Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously: An Objection to Rottschaefer and Martinsen. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):433-437.
Donald A. Crosby (2011). Faith and Reason: Their Roles in Religious and Secular Life. State University of New York Press.
William A. Rottschaefer (1997). Evolutionary Ethics: An Irresistible Temptation: Some Reflections on Paul Farber's the Temptation of Evolutionary Ethics. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):369-384.
William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen (1991). The Insufficience of Supervenient Explanations of Moral Actions: Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):439-445.
William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen (1990). Really Taking Darwin Seriously: An Alternative to Michael Ruse's Darwinian Metaethics. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 5 (2):149-173.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #351,585 of 1,934,733 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #146,211 of 1,934,733 )
How can I increase my downloads?