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

William A. Rottschaefer
Boston University (PhD)
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 Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
On Human Nature.Edward O. Wilson - 1978 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Darwinian Ethics and Error.Richard 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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