Ruse's Darwinian meta-ethics: A critique [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):423-439 (1993)
Michael Ruse, in Taking Darwin Seriously seeks to establish that taking Darwin seriously requires us to treat morality as subjective and naturalistic. I argue that, if morality is not objective, then we have no good reason for being moral if we can avoid detection and punishment. As a consequence, we will only continue to behave morally as long as we remain ignorant of Ruse''s theory, that is, as long as the cat is not let out of the bag. Ruse offers a number of arguments to show that his theory can overcome such problems. I argue that they all fail. Ruse also argues that he can offer a naturalistic account of ethics which steps around the naturalistic fallacy and avoids the confusion of reasons with causes. His principal argument for this view is an analogy between spiritualism and morality. I argue that this analogy fails.
Keywords Meta-ethics  Ruse  sociology  ethical subjectivism  ethical naturalism  naturalistic fallacy
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DOI 10.1007/BF00857688
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References found in this work BETA

The Emergence of Norms.Lanning Sowden & Edna Ullmann-Margalit - 1981 - Philosophical Quarterly 31 (122):82.
The Idea of a Social Science.Peter Winch - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (2):247-248.

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Citations of this work BETA

Darwinian Ethics and Error.R. Joyce - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):713-732.
Taking the 'Error' Out of Ruse's Error Theory.James A. Ryan - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):385-397.
Woolcock, Ruse, Again.J. A. Ryan - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):733-735.

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Ruse's Treatment of the Evidence for Evolution: A Reconsideration.Alexander Rosenberg - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:83 - 93.
A Defense of Darwinian Accounts of Morality.John Lemos - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (3):361-385.
Taking the 'Error' Out of Ruse's Error Theory.James A. Ryan - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):385-397.


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