Critical Notice of Richard D. Alexander, The Biology of Moral Systems, New York: Aldine de Gruyter 1987. Pp. xxi+301

Richard Alexander's second book on biology and morality is a continuation and amplification of the project he reported on in Darwinism and Human Affairs1. The Biology of Moral Systems is more abstract than the earlier book. It does not broach any new empirical ground, but puts Alexander's views into a broader context of philosophical and sociological discussions of morality. It discusses and criticizes alternative philosophical and biological views of morality, and presents his views on the significance of biology to moral issues in law, democracy and pursuit of the Good. In one interesting section that I will not be able to discuss here, Alexander provides an evolutionary hypothesis to explain each of Kohlberg's stages of moral development (pp. 131ff). The book ends with a discussion of some specific moral problems
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