Really taking Darwin seriously: An alternative to Michael Ruse's Darwinian metaethics [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 5 (2):149-173 (1990)

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Abstract
Michael Ruse has proposed in his recent book Taking Darwin Seriously and elsewhere a new Darwinian ethics distinct from traditional evolutionary ethics, one that avoids the latter's inadequate accounts of the nature of morality and its failed attempts to provide a naturalistic justification of morality. Ruse argues for a sociobiologically based account of moral sentiments, and an evolutionary based casual explanation of their function, rejecting the possibility of ultimate ethical justification. We find that Ruse's proposal distorts, overextends and weakens both Darwinism and naturalism. So we propose an alternative Darwinian metaethics that both remedies the problems in Ruse's proposal and shows how a Darwinian naturalistic account of the moral good in terms of human fitness avoids the naturalistic fallacy and can provide genuine, even if limited, justifications for substantive ethical claims. Thus, we propose to really take Darwin seriously.
Keywords Darwinian ethics  ethics  evolution  evolutionary ethics  M. Ruse  naturalistic fallacy  sociobiology
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DOI 10.1007/BF00127485
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.Edward O. Wilson - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.

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Citations of this work BETA

Darwinian Ethics and Error.R. Joyce - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):713-732.
Ruse's Darwinian Meta-Ethics: A Critique. [REVIEW]Peter Woolcock - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439.

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Ruse's Darwinian Meta-Ethics: A Critique. [REVIEW]Peter Woolcock - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439.
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A Defense of Darwinian Accounts of Morality.John Lemos - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (3):361-385.
Michael Ruse's Design for Living.Robert J. Richards - 2004 - Journal of the History of Biology 37 (1):25 - 38.

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