How science can end moral philosophy’s dependence on personal perceptions

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Moral philosophy often makes use of personal perceptions of moral intuitions and durable well-being (or happiness or flourishing) to judge the worth of foundational moral premises such as those underlying Utilitarianism, egoism, and virtue ethics. For John Rawls’ “reflective equilibrium … Continue reading

Ethical implications of understanding social morality as an evolutionary adaptation

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What kind of moral objectivity does science provide and how might understanding morality as an evolutionary adaptation be culturally useful? Over the last 35 years, it has been becoming progressively clearer that social morality, morality dealing with other people and … Continue reading

The science of morality is religion’s servant, not its master, on moral matters

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Religious people may object to the idea that morality is an evolutionary adaptation on the grounds that accepting that science would mean surrendering morality to science. However, the science of morality is about means to ends, not ends themselves. Science … Continue reading

Many useful comments on my poster at the Evolution of Morality Conference!

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I received many useful comments on my poster summary of the cultural utility of my proposed universal moral principle “Evolutionarily moral acts are altruistic acts that also increase the benefits of cooperation in groups”. No one admitted to thinking my … Continue reading

The evidence for at least one moral universal

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The diversity, contradictions, and bizarreness of past and present enforced moral standards (cultural norms whose violators are commonly considered to deserve punishment, though sometimes only mild social disapproval) has commonly been considered obvious evidence that “There are no moral universals!”. … Continue reading

Jonathon Haidt’s New Book “The Righteous Mind” and Why We Ought to Talk to the Elephant

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Imagine an emotional, highly willful elephant (representing our biology based moral intuitions, or, as David Hume might have called them, our moral passions) with a much less powerful rider, the rational part of human consciousness. This is Jonathon Haidt’s key … Continue reading