What rationality adds to animal morality

Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):341-356 (1997)

Philosophical tradition demands rational reflection as a condition for genuine moral acts. But the grounds for that requirement are untenable, and when the requirement is dropped morality comes into clearer view as a naturally developing phenomenon that is not confined to human beings and does not require higher-level rational reflective processes. Rational consideration of rules and duties can enhance and extend moral behavior, but rationality is not necessary for morality and (contrary to the Kantian tradition represented by Thomas Nagel) morality cannot transcend its biological roots. Recognizing this helps forge a complementary rather than competitive relation between feminist care-based ethics and rationalistic duty-based ethics.
Keywords care ethics  evolutionary ethics  sociobiology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006559328418
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References found in this work BETA

Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
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.
The Concept of Law.Stuart M. Brown - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (2):250.

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The Prospects for Evolutionary Ethics Today.Neil Levy - 2010 - EurAmerica 40 (3):529-571.

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