Might human morality be a product of evolution? An increasing number of philosophers and scientists believe that moral judgment and behaviour emerged because it enhanced the fitness of our distant ancestors. This volume collects some recent explorations of the evidence for this claim, as well as papers examining its implications. Is an evolved morality a genuine morality? Does an evolutionary origin deflate the pretensions of morality, or strip it of its force in guiding behaviour? Is an evolutionary approach compatible with realism about morality? All sides of these debates are represented in this volume.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Precursors to Morality: 'Any animal whatever': Darwinian building blocks of morality in monkeys and apes, Jessica C. Flack and Frans B.M. de Waal. Part II Mechanisms: Psychological altruism, evolutionary origins and moral rules, Philip Kitcher; Summary of: 'Unto Others: the Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior', Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson; Game theory, rationality and evolution of the social contract, Brian Skyrms; If homo economicus could choose his own utility function, would he want one with a conscience?, Robert H. Frank. Part III Altruism: Recent work on human altruism and evolution, Neven Sesardic; Evolution, altruism and cognitive architecture: a critique of Sober and Wilson's argument for psychological altruism, Stephen Stich. Part IV Meta-Ethics: Darwin's nihilistic idea: evolution and the meaninglessness of life, Tamler Sommers and Alex Rosenberg; Evolutionary ethics: a phoenix arisen, Michael Ruse; Darwinian ethics and error, Richard Joyce; A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of values, Sharon Street. Part V Normative Ethics: A defense of evolutionary ethics, Robert J. Richards; Is Darwin right?, Keith Sutherland and Jordan Hughes; Name index.