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The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics

Details

  • Page extent: 342 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.74 kg

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9781107132955)

Evolutionary ethics - the application of evolutionary ideas to moral thinking and justification - began in the nineteenth century with the work of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, but was subsequently criticized as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. In recent decades, however, evolutionary ethics has found new support among both the Darwinian and the Spencerian traditions. This accessible volume looks at the history of thought about evolutionary ethics as well as current debates in the subject, examining first the claims of supporters and then the responses of their critics. Topics covered include social Darwinism, moral realism, and debunking arguments. Clearly written and structured, the book guides readers through the arguments on both sides, and emphasises the continuing relevance of evolutionary theory to our understanding of ethics today.

• Presents a clear and accessible introduction to the complex issues surrounding the relevance of evolutionary thought to questions of ethics and morality • Explores the historical context of evolutionary ethics, from the work of Darwin and Spencer to the criticism of the philosopher G. E. Moore and later writers • Engages with both sides of the current debate, which has been revived in recent decades

Contents

Introduction Michael Ruse and Robert J. Richards; Part I. Historical: 1. Ethics, evolution and the a priori: Ross on Spencer and the French sociologists Hallvard Lillehammer; 2. Nietzsche's rejection of nineteenth-century evolutionary ethics Jeffrey O'Connell; 3. American pragmatism, evolution, and ethics Trevor Pearce; 4. The path to the present Abraham H. Gibson; 5. Social Darwinism and market morality: a modern-day view for evolutionary ethics Naomi Beck; Part II. For Evolutionary Ethics: 6. Darwinian evolutionary ethics Michael Ruse; 7. Human morality: from an empirical puzzle to a metaethical puzzle Richard Joyce; 8. Evolution and the epistemological challenge to moral realism Justin Horn; 9. Evolutionary naturalism and valuation Richard A. Richards; 10. Evolutionary ethics, a theory of moral realism Robert J. Richards; 11. Moral mismatch and abolition Ben Fraser; Part III. Against Debunking Arguments: 12. Moral realism and evolutionary debunking arguments Russ Shafer-Landau; 13. Why Darwinism does not debunk objective morality William J. FitzPatrick; 14. Debunking arguments: mathematics, logic, and modal security Justin Clarke-Doane; 15. Evolution and the missing link (in debunking arguments) Uri D. Leibowitz and Neil Sinclair; 16. Better than our nature? Evolution and moral realism, justification and progress Michael Vlerick; Part IV. Elaborations: 17. Darwinian ethics: biological individuality and moral relativism Frédéric Bouchard; 18. Evolutionary psychology, feminist critiques thereof, and the naturalistic fallacy Lynn Hankinson Nelson; 19. A theological evaluation of evolutionary ethics Michael L. Peterson.

Review

'No comprehensive understanding of where the debates over evolutionary ethics currently lie would be possible without The Cambridge Handbook. It is an indispensable guide to critical philosophical disputes.' Scott M. James, Metascience

Contributors

Michael Ruse, Robert J. Richards, Hallvard Lillehammer, Jeffrey O'Connell, Trevor Pearce, Abraham H. Gibson, Naomi Beck, Richard Joyce, Justin Horn, Richard A. Richards, Robert J. Richards, Ben Fraser, Russ Shafer-Landau, William J. FitzPatrick, Justin Clarke-Doane, Uri D. Leibowitz, Neil Sinclair, Michael Vlerick, Frédéric Bouchard, Lynn Hankinson Nelson, Michael L. Peterson

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