Alejandro Rosas
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Classical evolutionary explanations of social behavior classify behaviors from their effects, not from their underlying mechanisms. Here lies a potential objection against the view that morality can be explained by such models, e.g. Trivers’reciprocal altruism. However, evolutionary theory reveals a growing interest in the evolution of psychological mechanisms and factors them in as selective forces. This opens up perspectives for evolutionary approaches to problems that have traditionally worried moral philosophers. Once the ability to mind-read is factored-in among the relevant variables in the evolution of moral abilities and counted among the selection pressures that have plausibly shaped our nature as moral agents, an evolutionary approach can contribute, so I will argue, to the solution of a long-standing debate in moral philosophy and psychology concerning the basic motivation for moral behavior.
Keywords Altruism  Selfishness  Moral contractarianism  Evolution  Motivation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.0021-8308.2004.00239.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,013
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Meaning.H. Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.
Linguistic Behaviour.Jonathan Bennett - 1976 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kant-Bibliographie 2004.Margit Ruffing - 2006 - Kant-Studien 97 (4):483-547.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #149,814 of 2,344,162 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #332,321 of 2,344,162 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes