Why there are no objective values: A critique of ethical intuitionism from an evolutionary point of view [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):315-330 (1992)
Abstract
Using concepts of evolutionary game theory, this paper presents a critique of ethical intuitionism, or non-naturalism, in its cognitivist and objectivist interpretation. While epistemological considerations suggest that human rational learning through experience provides no basis for objective moral knowledge, it is argued below that modern evolutionary theory explains why this is so, i.e., why biological organisms do not evolve so as to experience objective preferences and obligations. The difference between the modes of the cognition of objective and of valuative environmental attributes is explained with reference to different modes of natural selection acting on the cognitive apparatus of the organism. The negative implications are pointed out which the observable diversity of intraspecific behavioural adaptations and of cultural values has for the cognitivist, objectivist foundation of ethics. Eventually a non-cognitivist alternative to ethical intuitionism is outlined in terms of empirical authority relations, with the ritualisation of dominance-submission patterns as the evolutionary origin of human charismatic authority.
Keywords Ethical intuitionism  foundation of ethics  evolutionary metaethics  evolutionary epistemology  objective values
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00129973
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,781
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
The Right and the Good.W. D. Ross - 1930 - Clarendon Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Why Are There No Objective Values?Gebhard Geiger - 1995 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 26 (1):35-62.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Structural Description of Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:427 - 439.
How a Kantian Can Accept Evolutionary Metaethics.Frederick Rauscher - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):303-326.
Renewing Moral Intuitionism.Elizabeth Tropman - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (4):440-463.
Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - Palgrave Macmillan.
Evolutionary Moral Realism.John Collier & Michael Stingl - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (3):218-226.
Why Are There No Objective Values? A Critique of Ethical Intuitionism From an Epistemological Point of View.Gebhard Geiger - 1995 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 26 (1):35 - 62.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
100 ( #52,877 of 2,199,496 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #300,210 of 2,199,496 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature