Moral Origins [Book Review]

Nicolas Delon
New College of Florida
In this fascinating, accessible book, anthropologist Christopher Boehm, Professor at the University of Southern California and author of Hierarchy in the Forest (Harvard University Press, 1999) makes an important contribution to the growing body of scientific literature on the evolution of morality. Attempting to answer one of Darwin's chief problems -- i.e. an account, consistent with natural selection, of how altruistic genes were selected -- Boehm paints a Darwinistic yet historically and ethnographically informed picture of how we became the moral animals we have been for at least 45,000 years, and perhaps five times as many.
Keywords morality  evolution  hominids  altruism  shame  Darwin
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