If our genes are for us, who can be against us? Thoughts of a pragmatist on science and morality

Zygon 30 (3):357-367 (1995)
The philosopher Michael Ruse accounts for the difference between hypothetical and categorical imperatives, and thus the origin of distinctively moral obligations like that of altruism, in genetic terms. This is part of an attempt to develop a philosophy that takes Darwin seriously by substituting respectable scientific entities, specifically those of evolutionary biology, for suspect theological or philosophical ones, like God or the transcendental ego, as a basis for addressing philosophical questions. Pragmatists take Darwin seriously, but in a very different way from that proposed by Ruse. Darwin introduced a "logic" into the study of living things-including human beings, the human mind, and culture-that leads philosophers to ask new and different questions about morality rather than trying to supply new answers to the same old questions. This essay contrasts these two different ways of taking Darwin seriously for purposes of philosophy and claims certain advantages for the pragmatist way over Ruse's.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00078.x
 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: 29,841
External links

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
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophy of Biology.Michael Ruse (ed.) - 2007 - Prometheus Books.
A Common Faith.John Dewey - 1934 - Yale University Press.
Taking Darwin Seriously.Ruse Michael - 1988 - Ethics 98 (2):400-402.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Taking the 'Error' Out of Ruse's Error Theory.James A. Ryan - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):385-397.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael Ruse's Design for Living.Robert J. Richards - 2004 - Journal of the History of Biology 37 (1):25 - 38.
Ruse's Darwinian Meta-Ethics: A Critique. [REVIEW]Peter Woolcock - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
37 ( #151,867 of 2,210,259 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #223,929 of 2,210,259 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature