Moral Archetypes - Ethics in Prehistory

Terra à Vista - ISBN-10: 1698168292 ISBN-13: 978-1698168296 (2019)
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ABSTRACT The philosophical tradition approaches to morals have their grounds predominantly on metaphysical and theological concepts and theories. Among the traditional ethics concepts, the most prominent is the Divine Command Theory (DCT). As per the DCT, God gives moral foundations to the humankind by its creation and through Revelation. Morality and Divinity are inseparable since the most remote civilization. These concepts submerge in a theological framework and are largely accepted by most followers of the three Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: the greatest part of the human population. Holding faith and Revelation for its grounds, the Divine Command Theories are not strictly subject to the demonstration. The opponents to the Divine Command conception of morals, grounded in the impossibility of demonstration of its metaphysical and religious assumptions, have tried for many centuries (albeit unsuccessfully) to devalue its importance. They held the argument that it does not show material evidence and logical coherence and, for this reason, cannot be taken into account for scientific nor philosophical purposes. It is just a belief and, as so, should be understood. Besides these extreme oppositions, many other concepts contravene the Divine Command theories, in one or another way, in part or in full. Many philosophers and social scientists, from the classic Greek philosophy up to the present date, for instance, sustain that morality is only a construct, and thus culturally relative and culturally determined. However, this brings many other discussions and imposes the challenge to determine what is the meaning of culture, which elements of culture are morally determinant, and finally, what are the boundaries of such relativity. Moral determinists claim that everything related to human behavior, including morality, is determined, once free will does not exist. More recently, modern thinkers argued that there is a strict science of morality. However, the scientific method alone, despite explaining several facts and evidence, cannot enlighten the entire content and full meaning of ethics. Morals’ understanding requires a broader perception, and an agreement among philosophers, which they have never achieved. All of these questions have many different configurations depending on each philosophical strand, and start complex analysis and endless debates, as long as many of them are reciprocally conflictive. The universe and the atmosphere involving this thesis are the dominions of all these conceptual conflicts, observed from an objective and evolutionary standpoint. Irrespective of this circumstance and its intrinsic importance, however, these questions are far distant from the methodological approach of an analytical discussion on objective morals, what is, indeed, the aim and scope of this work. We should briefly revisit these prominent traditional theories because this thesis shelters a comparative study, and its assumptions at least differ profoundly from all traditional theories. Therefore, it becomes necessary offering direct and specific elements of comparison to the reader, for the right criticism, dispensing interruptive researches. However, even revisiting the traditional theories, for this comparative and critical exposure purpose, they will be kept by the side of our main concerns, as “aliena materia.” Irrespective of the validity of any or all of the elements of this discussion, and their meaning as the philosophical universe of this thesis, the purpose of this work is demonstrating and justifying the existence and meaning of prehistoric moral archetypes arisen directly from the very first social needs and efforts for survival. These archetypes are the definition of the essential foundation of ethics, its aggregation to the collective unconscious and corresponding logic organization and transmission to evolutionary stages of the human genome and different relations space-time, irrespective of any contemporary experience of the individuals. The system defined by these archetypes composes an evolutionary human social model. Is this a metaethical position? Yes, it is. Moreover, as in any metaethical reasoning, we should look carefully for the best and coherent routes, as the Analytical Philosophy offers them. Thus, this work should reasonably demonstrate that morals are not a cultural product of the civilized men or modern societies and that despite being subject to several cultural relative aggregations and subtractions, its essential foundations are archetypal and have never structurally changed. This reasoning induces that morality is an original attribute of the “homo sapiens”; it is not a property and nor an accident: it integrates the human essence and belongs to the realm of the ontological human identity. The human phenomena is a continuing process, playing its role between random determination and free will, and we need to question how morality began and how did it come to us in the present.

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