Morality Made Visible : Edward Westermarck’s Moral and Social Theory book cover
1st Edition

Morality Made Visible
Edward Westermarck’s Moral and Social Theory

ISBN 9780367660444
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
178 Pages

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Book Description

While highly respected among evolutionary scholars, the sociologist, anthropologist and philosopher Edward Westermarck is now largely forgotten in the social sciences. This book is the first full study of his moral and social theory, focusing on the key elements of his theory of moral emotions as presented in The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas and summarised in Ethical Relativity. Examining Westermarck’s evolutionary approach to the human mind, the author introduces important new themes to scholarship on Westermarck, including the pivotal role of emotions in human reciprocity, the evolutionary origins of human society, social solidarity, the emergence and maintenance of moral norms and moral responsibility. With attention to Westermarck’s debt to David Hume and Adam Smith, whose views on human nature, moral sentiments and sympathy Westermarck combined with Darwinian evolutionary thinking, Morality Made Visible highlights the importance of the theory of sympathy that lies at the heart of Westermarck’s work, which proves to be crucial to his understanding of morality and human social life. A rigorous examination of Westermarck’s moral and social theory in its intellectual context, this volume connects Westermarck’s work on morality to classical sociology, to the history of evolutionism in the social and behavioural sciences, and to the sociological study of morality and emotions, showing him to be the forerunner of modern evolutionary psychology and anthropology. In revealing the lasting value of his work in understanding and explaining a wide range of moral phenomena, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology and psychology with interests in social theory, morality and intellectual history.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Research Programme on Morality  2. The Evolution of Westermarck’s Theory of Moral Emotions  3. Westermarck’s Mature Account of Morality  4. Sympathy in Westermarck’s Sociology (I): Evolutionary Roots and Expansion  5. Sympathy in Westermarck’s Sociology (II): The Genesis and Maintenance of Moral Norms  6. The Anatomy of Moral Responsibility  7. The Origin and Development of Moral Sentimentalism: Westermarck on Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume  8. The Smithian Roots of Westermarck’s Theory of Morality  Concluding Remarks

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Otto Pipatti is a researcher in the Department of Social Research at the University of Helsinki, Finland.