Traits and functions in the evolution of morality


This paper is about evolutionary explanations. They come in different kinds but mostly need traits and functions. Evolutionary theory requires traits to be inheritable although not in a strong genetic sense: ideas of “inheritance pattern” and “inheritable pattern” are explored. Function is also a necessary concept, but complex and diverse, and it lacks causal power on traits. The debate on the evolution of morality is cautious and already far from naive “just-­‐so story” explanations, but theoretical analysis fleshed into morality-­‐related examples can aid towards the development of critically conscious and up-­‐to-­‐date explanatory hypotheses in this field.

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