What rationality adds to animal morality

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

Abstract
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006559328418
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,509
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

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.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Practical Rationality.Hugh J. McCann - 1990 - Journal of Philosophical Research 15:57-77.
The Rationality and Morality of Dying Children.Barry Hoffmaster - 2011 - Hastings Center Report 41 (6):30-42.
Father of the Logos.Michael Davis - 2003 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 7 (2):169-187.
Asymmetry, Scope, and Rational Consistency.Julian Fink - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):109-130.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
77 ( #113,975 of 2,286,511 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #157,830 of 2,286,511 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature