Results for 'morality, debunking, evolution, evolutionary psychology cultural evolution'

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  1.  79
    Moral Cheesecake, Evolved Psychology, and the Debunking Impulse.Daniel Kelly - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 342-358.
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  2. Moral Reality and the Empirical Sciences.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    Are there objective moral truths, i.e. things that are morally right, wrong, good, or bad independently of what anybody thinks about them? To answer this question more and more scholars have recently turned to evidence from psychology, neuroscience, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary biology. This book investigates this novel scientific approach in a comprehensive, empirically-focused, and partly meta-theoretical way. It suggests that while it is possible for the empirical sciences to contribute to the moral realism/anti-realism debate, most arguments (...)
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  3. Only All Naturalists Should Worry About Only One Evolutionary Debunking Argument.Tomas Bogardus - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):636-661.
    Do the facts of evolution generate an epistemic challenge to moral realism? Some think so, and many “evolutionary debunking arguments” have been discussed in the recent literature. But they are all murky right where it counts most: exactly which epistemic principle is meant to take us from evolutionary considerations to the skeptical conclusion? Here, I will identify several distinct species of evolutionary debunking argument in the literature, each one of which relies on a distinct epistemic principle. (...)
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  4.  82
    The Cultural Evolution of Extended Benevolence.Andres Luco - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 153-177.
    Abstract In The Descent of Man (1879), Charles Darwin proposed a speculative evolutionary explanation of extended benevolence—a human sympathetic capacity that extends to all nations, races, and even to all sentient beings. This essay draws on twenty-first century social science to show that Darwin’s explanation is correct in its broad outlines. Extended benevolence is manifested in institutions such as legal human rights and democracy, in behaviors such as social movements for human rights and the protection of nonhuman animals, and (...)
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  5. Evolution and Moral Diversity.Tim Dean - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7:1-16.
    If humans have an evolved moral psychology, then we should not expect it to function in an identical way between individuals. Instead, we should expect a diversity in the function of our moral psychology between individuals that varies along genetic lines, and a corresponding diversity of moral attitudes and moral judgements that emerge from it. This is because there was no one psychological type that would reliably produce adaptive social behaviour in the highly heterogeneous environments in which our (...)
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  6. Debunking Rationalist Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology: An Empirical Approach.Robert Carry Osborne - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):197-221.
    Debunking arguments typically attempt to show that a set of beliefs or other intensional mental states bear no appropriate explanatory connection to the facts they purport to be about. That is, a debunking argument will attempt to show that beliefs about p are not held because of the facts about p. Such beliefs, if true, would then only be accidentally so. Thus, their causal origins constitute an undermining defeater. Debunking arguments arise in various philosophical domains, targeting beliefs about morality, the (...)
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  7. The Debunking Challenge to Realism: How Evolution (Ultimately) Matters.Levy Arnon & Yair Levy - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-8.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) have attracted extensive attention in meta-ethics, as they pose an important challenge to moral realism. Mogensen (2015) suggests that EDAs contain a fallacy, by confusing two distinct forms of biological explanation – ultimate and proximate. If correct, the point is of considerable importance: evolutionary genealogies of human morality are simply irrelevant for debunking. But we argue that the actual situation is subtler: while ultimate claims do not strictly entail proximate ones, there are important evidential (...)
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  8. Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure and potential of (...)
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  9.  72
    Are moral norms rooted in instincts? The sibling incest taboo as a case study.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):47.
    According to Westermarck’s widely accepted explanation of the incest taboo, cultural prohibitions on sibling sex are rooted in an evolved biological disposition to feel sexual aversion toward our childhood coresidents. Bernard Williams posed the “representation problem” for Westermarck’s theory: the content of the hypothesized instinct is different from the content of the incest taboo —thus the former cannot be causally responsible for the latter. Arthur Wolf posed the related “moralization problem”: the instinct concerns personal behavior whereas the prohibition concerns (...)
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  10. Moral Lessons From Psychology: Contemporary Themes in Psychological Research and Their Relevance for Ethical Theory.Henrik Ahlenius - 2020 - Stockholm: Stockholm University.
    The thesis investigates the implications for moral philosophy of research in psychology. In addition to an introduction and concluding remarks, the thesis consists of four chapters, each exploring various more specific challenges or inputs to moral philosophy from cognitive, social, personality, developmental, and evolutionary psychology. Chapter 1 explores and clarifies the issue of whether or not morality is innate. The chapter’s general conclusion is that evolution has equipped us with a basic suite of emotions that shape (...)
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  11. Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they wouldn’t: evolution selects (...)
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  12. Power in Cultural Evolution and the Spread of Prosocial Norms.Nathan Cofnas - 2018 - Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (4):297–318.
    According to cultural evolutionary theory in the tradition of Boyd and Richerson, cultural evolution is driven by individuals' learning biases, natural selection, and random forces. Learning biases lead people to preferentially acquire cultural variants with certain contents or in certain contexts. Natural selection favors individuals or groups with fitness-promoting variants. Durham (1991) argued that Boyd and Richerson's approach is based on a "radical individualism" that fails to recognize that cultural variants are often "imposed" on (...)
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  13. A New Evolutionary Debunking Argument Against Moral Realism.Justin Morton - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):233-253.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments claim that evolution has influenced our moral faculties in such a way that, if moral realism is true, then we have no positive moral knowledge. I present several popular objections to the standard version of this argument, then give a new EDA that has clear advantages in responding to these objections. Whereas the Standard EDA argues that evolution has selected for many moral beliefs with certain contents, this New EDA claims that evolution has (...)
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  14. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science.Arnon Levy & Yair Levy - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):491-509.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments appeal to selective etiologies of human morality in an attempt to undermine moral realism. But is morality actually the product of evolution by natural selection? Although debunking arguments have attracted considerable attention in recent years, little of it has been devoted to whether the underlying evolutionary assumptions are credible. In this paper, we take a closer look at the evolutionary hypotheses put forward by two leading debunkers, namely Sharon Street and Richard Joyce. We (...)
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  15.  41
    Evolutionary Psychology, Rape, and the Naturalistic Fallacy.Youjin Kong - 2021 - Journal of the Society of Philosophical Studies 134:65-93.
    Feminist critics of evolutionary psychology are often accused of committing the naturalistic fallacy, that is, of inferring certain normative conclusions from evolutionary psychology’s purely descriptive accounts. This article refutes the accusation of the naturalistic fallacy, by showing that evolutionary psychology’s accounts of human behavior are not purely descriptive, but rather grounded on biased value judgments. A paradigmatic example is Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer’s well-known book A Natural History of Rape. I argue that at (...)
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  16. A Debunking Explanation for Moral Progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3171-3191.
    According to “debunking arguments,” our moral beliefs are explained by evolutionary and cultural processes that do not track objective, mind-independent moral truth. Therefore (the debunkers say) we ought to be skeptics about moral realism. Huemer counters that “moral progress”—the cross-cultural convergence on liberalism—cannot be explained by debunking arguments. According to him, the best explanation for this phenomenon is that people have come to recognize the objective correctness of liberalism. Although Huemer may be the first philosopher to make (...)
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  17. A Bayesian Analysis of Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Shang Long Yeo - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Debunking arguments in ethics contend that our moral beliefs have dubious evolutionary, cultural, or psychological origins – hence concluding that we should doubt such beliefs. Debates about debunking are often couched in coarse-grained terms – about whether our moral beliefs are justified or not, for instance. In this paper, I propose a more detailed Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments, which proceeds in the fine-grained framework of rational confidence. Such analysis promises several payoffs: it highlights how debunking arguments don’t (...)
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  18. Social Norms and Human Normative Psychology.Daniel Kelly & Taylor Davis - 2018 - Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (1):54-76.
    Our primary aim in this paper is to sketch a cognitive evolutionary approach for developing explanations of social change that is anchored on the psychological mechanisms underlying normative cognition and the transmission of social norms. We throw the relevant features of this approach into relief by comparing it with the self-fulfilling social expectations account developed by Bicchieri and colleagues. After describing both accounts, we argue that the two approaches are largely compatible, but that the cognitive evolutionary approach is (...)
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  19. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Three Domains: Fact, Value, and Religion.S. Wilkins John & E. Griffiths Paul - 2012 - In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that (...)
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  20. Review of Adapting Minds Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature by Buller (2006).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    I bought this thinking anything from Bradford books and MIT must be good. Instead it's a boring, stupid, incompetent, antiscientific and antirational piece of closet creationist trash. Heads should roll at Bradford for this atrocity! If you must then start by reading the last chapter first as he conceals a frank statement of his anti-rationality til the end. I made detailed notes on it as I thought it was a serious work of science and was going to do a long (...)
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  21. Evolutionary Arguments Against Moral Realism: Why the Empirical Details Matter (and Which Ones Do).Jeroen Hopster - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41.
    The aim of this article is to identify the strongest evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and to assess on which empirical assumptions it relies. In the recent metaethical literature, several authors have de-emphasized the evolutionary component of EDAs against moral realism: presumably, the success or failure of these arguments is largely orthogonal to empirical issues. I argue that this claim is mistaken. First, I point out that Sharon Street’s and Michael Ruse’s EDAs both involve substantive claims about (...)
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  22. Evolution and the Missing Link (in Debunking Arguments).Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair - 2017 - In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    What are the consequences, for human moral practice, of an evolutionary understanding of that practice? By ‘moral practice’ we mean the way in which human beings think, talk and debate in moral terms. We suggest that the proper upshot of such considerations is moderate support for anti-realism in ethics.
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  23. Moral Archetypes - Ethics in Prehistory.Roberto Arruda - 2019 - Terra à Vista - ISBN-10: 1698168292 ISBN-13: 978-1698168296.
    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 (...)
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  24. Crossing the Milvian Bridge: When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief?Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins - 2015 - In Phillip R. Sloan, Gerald McKenny & Kathleen Eggleson (eds.), Darwin in the Twenty-First Century: Nature, Humanity, and God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 201-231.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? In this chapter we apply this argument to beliefs in three different domains: morality, religion, and science. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. The simplest reply to evolutionary scepticism is that (...)
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  25. The Evolution of Imagination.Stephen T. Asma - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source, he argues, of our remarkable imaginational capacity. How is it, he asks, that a story can evoke a whole world inside of us? How are we able to rehearse a skill, a speech, or even an entire scenario simply by thinking about it? How does creativity go beyond (...)
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  26. The Evolution of Moral Intuitions and Their Feeling of Rightness.Christine Clavien & Chloë FitzGerald - forthcoming - In Joyce R. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy.
    Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and (...)
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  27.  50
    Cecilia Heyes, Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018, Ix + 292 Pp., $31.50/£25.95/€28.50. [REVIEW]Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (2):1-5.
    Heyes’ book is an essential addition to the literature on human uniqueness. Her main claim is that the key human cognitive capacities are products of cultural rather than genetic evolution. Among these distinctively human capacities are causal understanding, episodic memory, imitation, mindreading, and normative thinking. According to Heyes, they emerged not by genetic mutation but by innovations in cognitive development. She calls these mechanisms ‘cognitive gadgets.’ This is perhaps one of the best and most comprehensive views of human (...)
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  28.  82
    The Epistemology of Evolutionary Debunking.Justis Koon - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Fifteen years ago, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce advanced evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism, which purported to show that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes moral realism untenable. These arguments have since given rise to a flurry of objections; the epistemic principles Street and Joyce relied upon, in particular, have come in for a number of serious challenges. My goal in this paper is to develop a new account of evolutionary debunking which avoids the (...)
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  29. A Liberal Realist Answer to Debunking Skeptics: The Empirical Case for Realism.Michael Huemer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1983-2010.
    Debunking skeptics claim that our moral beliefs are formed by processes unsuited to identifying objective facts, such as emotions inculcated by our genes and culture; therefore, they say, even if there are objective moral facts, we probably don’t know them. I argue that the debunking skeptics cannot explain the pervasive trend toward liberalization of values over human history, and that the best explanation is the realist’s: humanity is becoming increasingly liberal because liberalism is the objectively correct moral stance.
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  30. Debunking Arguments: Mathematics, Logic, and Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Robert Richards and Michael Ruse (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    I discuss the structure of genealogical debunking arguments. I argue that they undermine our mathematical beliefs if they undermine our moral beliefs. The contrary appearance stems from a confusion of arithmetic truths with (first-order) logical truths, or from a confusion of reliability with justification. I conclude with a discussion of the cogency of debunking arguments, in light of the above. Their cogency depends on whether information can undermine all of our beliefs of a kind, F, without giving us direct reason (...)
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  31. Tracking the Moral Truth: Debunking Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.Gerald L. Hull - manuscript
    Sharon Street’s 2006 article “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” challenges the epistemological pretensions of the moral realist, of the nonnaturalist in particular. Given that “Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes” – why should one suppose such attitudes and concomitant beliefs would track an independent moral reality? Especially since, on a nonnaturalist view, moral truth is causally inert. I abstract a logical skeleton of Street’s argument and, with its (...)
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  32. Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human (...)
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  33. Does Evolutionary Psychology Show That Normativity Is Mind-Dependent?Selim Berker - 2014 - In Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 215-252.
    Suppose we grant that evolutionary forces have had a profound effect on the contours of our normative judgments and intuitions. Can we conclude anything from this about the correct metaethical theory? I argue that, for the most part, we cannot. Focusing my attention on Sharon Street’s justly famous argument that the evolutionary origins of our normative judgments and intuitions cause insuperable epistemological difficulties for a metaethical view she calls "normative realism," I argue that there are two largely independent (...)
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  34.  89
    The Cultural Evolution of Cultural Evolution.Jonathan Birch & Cecilia Heyes - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    What makes fast, cumulative cultural evolution work? Where did it come from? Why is it the sole preserve of humans? We set out a self-assembly hypothesis: cultural evolution evolved culturally. We present an evolutionary account that shows this hypothesis to be coherent, plausible, and worthy of further investigation. It has the following steps: (0) in common with other animals, early hominins had significant capacity for social learning; (1) knowledge and skills learned by offspring from their (...)
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  35. The Limits of Rational Belief Revision: A Dilemma for the Darwinian Debunker.Katia Vavova - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We are fallible creatures, prone to making all sorts of mistakes. So, we should be open to evidence of error. But what constitutes such evidence? And what is it to rationally accommodate it? I approach these questions by considering an evolutionary debunking argument according to which (a) we have good, scientific, reason to think our moral beliefs are mistaken, and (b) rationally accommodating this requires revising our confidence in, or altogether abandoning the suspect beliefs. I present a dilemma for (...)
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  36. Evolutionary Psychology, Adaptation and Design.Stephen M. Downes - 2014 - In P. Huneman & M. Silberstein (eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Springer. pp. 659-673.
    I argue that Evolutionary Psychologists’ notion of adaptationism is closest to what Peter Godfrey-Smith (2001) calls explanatory adaptationism and as a result, is not a good organizing principle for research in the biology of human behavior. I also argue that adopting an alternate notion of adaptationism presents much more explanatory resources to the biology of human behavior. I proceed by introducing Evolutionary Psychology and giving some examples of alternative approaches to the biological explanation of human behavior. Next (...)
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  37. The Evolution of Retribution: Intuitions Undermined.Isaac Wiegman - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2):490-510.
    Recent empirical work suggests that emotions are responsible for anti-consequentialist intuitions. For instance, anger places value on actions of revenge and retribution, value not derived from the consequences of these actions. As a result, it contributes to the development of retributive intuitions. I argue that if anger evolved to produce these retributive intuitions because of their biological consequences, then these intuitions are not a good indicator that punishment has value apart from its consequences. This severs the evidential connection between retributive (...)
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  38. The Cultural Evolution of Mind-Modelling.Richard Moore - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1751-1776.
    I argue that uniquely human forms of ‘Theory of Mind’ are a product of cultural evolution. Specifically, propositional attitude psychology is a linguistically constructed folk model of the human mind, invented by our ancestors for a range of tasks and refined over successive generations of users. The construction of these folk models gave humans new tools for thinking and reasoning about mental states—and so imbued us with abilities not shared by non-linguistic species. I also argue that uniquely (...)
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  39.  63
    Selective Debunking Arguments, Folk Psychology, and Empirical Psychology.Daniel Kelly - 2014 - In Hagop Sarkissian & Jennifer Cole Wright (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 130-147.
    Rather than set out an overarching view or take a stand on the debunking of morality tout court, in what follows I’ll explore a divide and conquer strategy. First, I will briefly sketch a debunking argument that, instead of targeting all of morality or human moral nature, has a more narrow focus—namely, the intuitive moral authority of disgust. The argument concludes that as vivid and compelling as they can be while one is in their grip, feelings of disgust should be (...)
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  40. Evolution's Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity.John E. Stewart - 2000 - Canberra: The Chapman Press.
    Evolution's Arrow argues that evolution is directional and progressive, and that this has major consequences for humanity. Without resort to teleology, the book demonstrates that evolution moves in the direction of producing cooperative organisations of greater scale and evolvability - evolution has organised molecular processes into cells, cells into organisms, and organisms into societies. The book founds this position on a new theory of the evolution of cooperation. It shows that self-interest at the level of (...)
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  41. Morality’s Dark Past.Kim Sterelny - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):95-115.
    Philip Kitcher’s The Ethical Project tries to vindicates ethics through an analysis of its evolutionary and cultural history, a history which in turn, he thinks, supports a particular conception of the role of moral thinking and normative practices in human social life. As Kitcher sees it, that role could hardly be more central: most of what makes human life human, and preferable to the fraught and impoverished societies of the great apes, depends on moral cognition. From this view (...)
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  42. The Cultural Evolution of Institutional Religions.Michael Vlerick - forthcoming - Religion, Brain and Behavior.
    In recent work, Atran, Henrich, Norenzayan and colleagues developed an account of religion that reconciles insights from the ‘by-product’ accounts and the adaptive accounts. According to their synthesis, the process of cultural group selection driven by group competition has recruited our proclivity to adopt and spread religious beliefs and engage in religious practices to increase within group solidarity, harmony and cooperation. While their account has much merit, I believe it only tells us half the story of how institutional religions (...)
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  43. Debunking, Epistemic Achievement, and Undermining Defeat.Michael Klenk - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Several anti-debunkers have argued that evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs fail to meet a necessary condition on undermining defeat called modal security. They conclude that evolution, therefore, does not debunk our moral beliefs. This article shows that modal security is false if knowledge is virtuous achievement. New information can undermine a given belief without giving one reason to doubt that that belief is sensitive or safe. This leads to a novel conception of undermining defeat, and it shows (...)
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  44.  92
    Introduction. The Evolutionary Approach to Ethics: From Animal Prosociality to Human Morality.Daniele Bertini - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (3):3-22.
    Evolutionary research on the biological fitness of groups has recently given a prominent value to the role that prosocial behaviors play in favoring a successful adaptation to ecological niches. Such a focus marks a paradigm shift. Early views of evolution relied on the notion of natural selection as a largely competitive mechanism for the achievement of the highest amount of resources. Today, evolutionists from different schools think that collaborative attitudes are an irremovable ingredient of biological change over time. (...)
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  45. Cross-Cultural Research, Evolutionary Psychology, and Racialism: Problems and Prospects.John P. Jackson Jr - 2016 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 8 (20160629).
    This essay is a defense of the social construction of racialism. I follow a standard definition of “racialism” which is the belief that “there are heritable characteristics, possessed by members of our species, that allow us to divide them into a small set of races, in such a way that all the members of these races share certain traits and tendencies with each other that they do not share with other members of any other race”. In particular I want to (...)
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  46. Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
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  47. Moral Error Theory, Explanatory Dispensability and the Limits of Guilt.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2969-2983.
    Recently, companions in guilt strategies have garnered significant philosophical attention as a response to arguments for moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and that our moral beliefs are thus systematically mistaken. According to Cuneo (The normative web: an argument for moral realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007), Das (Philos Q 66:152–160, 2016; Australas J Philos 95(1):58–69, 2017), Rowland (J Ethics Soc Philos 7(1):1–24, 2012; Philos Q 66:161–171, 2016) and others, epistemic facts would be just as (...)
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  48. The Right to Ignore: An Epistemic Defense of the Nature/Culture Divide.Maria Kronfeldner - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 210-224.
    This paper addresses whether the often-bemoaned loss of unity of knowledge about humans, which results from the disciplinary fragmentation of science, is something to be overcome. The fragmentation of being human rests on a couple of distinctions, such as the nature-culture divide. Since antiquity the distinction between nature (roughly, what we inherit biologically) and culture (roughly, what is acquired by social interaction) has been a commonplace in science and society. Recently, the nature/culture divide has come under attack in various ways, (...)
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  49. Development of Cultural Consciousness: From the Perspective of a Social Constructivist.Gregory M. Nixon - 2015 - International Journal of Education and Social Science 2 (10):119-136.
    In this condensed survey, I look to recent perspectives on evolution suggesting that cultural change likely alters the genome. Since theories of development are nested within assumptions about evolution (evo-devo), I next review some oft-cited developmental theories and other psychological theories of the 20th century to see if any match the emerging perspectives in evolutionary theory. I seek theories based neither in nature (genetics) nor nurture (the environment) but in the creative play of human communication responding (...)
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  50. Apes with a Moral Code? Primatology, Moral Sentimentalism, and the Evolution of Morality in The Planet of the Apes.Carron Paul - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (3):1-26.
    This essay examines the recent Planet of the Apes films through the lens of recent research in primatology. The films lend imaginary support to primatologist Frans de Waal’s evolutionary moral sentimentalism; however, the movies also show that truly moral motions outstrip the cognitive capacities of the great apes. The abstract moral principles employed by the ape community in the movie require the ability to understand and apply a common underlying explanation to perceptually disparate situations; in contrast, recent research in (...)
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