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An Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Offering the first general introductory text to this subject, the timely Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics reflects the most up-to-date research and current issues being debated in both psychology and philosophy. The book presents students to the areas of cognitive psychology, normative ethics, and metaethics.
The first general introduction to evolutionary ethics Provides
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ebook, 240 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Wiley-Blackwell
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Mike
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very clear and well written introduction to the field of evolutionary ethics. This is not an easy read but it is also not overly technical. I appreciated James' inclusion of the major theories as well as objections, including objections to his own theory. He does not interact with any theories or criticisms by religious philosophers. One is struck by the difficulty of developing a moral realist position (that there are objective moral facts) based solely on naturalism.
Morgan Blackledge
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AN INTRODUCTION TO EVOLUTIONARY ETHICS NOTES:

No exaggeration, this book has spellbindingly thought provoking high moments. Even if you have previously gone over all the material covered in the book i.e. even if you already "know" all this stuff, the author Scott M. James does an amazing job of curating the material and leading you through the historical arguments - step by step - and (at least in my case) eliciting juicy, fun, engaging new insights and questions. I know, I know, that's what goo
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M
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was all right, and I was into the concept of response dependence, but it outran its own ambition toward the end when it veered too hard out of evolutionary biology and into Platonian vaguery about what constitutes objective morality. I liked the earlier bits about right and wrong being adaptive responses that encouraged social harmony and those who would free-ride and withhold the tit after receiving the tat would be spurned right out of the gene pool. Now that's an ethical system I can get b ...more
Christine Cordula Dantas
A well-written book, but for some reason I have lost interest in the topic midway. I may get back to it later in life. For now, I recommend it as a clear introduction to the subject. 4/5 stars.
Gary
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really like the first half of the book. It mostly covered evolutionary psychology topics from other books I already listened to such as Dawkins, Wilson, Pinker and de Waal. I didn't mind the authors take on the topic, but it was just mostly review for me.

The book came alive in the second half. The author jumped into some serious Philosophy discussion such as Hume's law coupled with the natural fallacy. They would say, the natural doesn't intersect with the moral (is doesn't give ought).
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djcb
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book discusses how/if evolution could explain our moral intuitions. Nothing particular new, but an overview of the various positions that philosophers hold, with the typical word games and polemics... though the basic questions are interesting and important, it did not seem that the current discussions add much to it.

I think that actual answers for will not come from philosophy, but from biology/psychology. Sadly, evolutionary psychology can be used to create plausible explanations for just abo
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Þróndr
Much too wordy to make it a really enjoyable read for me – at least in parts, and a bit too simplistic in others. While the latter is more or less unavoidable in this category of books, reining in the first mentioned tendency could have made space for a more detailed discussion in the same amount of pages. Otherwise this was quite alright for an introduction. The first part seemed a bit bland though, but it got better in the second part where we also get to the meat of the discussion - clearly t ...more
Paul
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Describes some interesting problems to think about but doesn't really explain anything, posit anything or make any predictions and I just can't stand the goofy writing style. It doesn't have to be as dry as an encyclopedic entry but please, you sound like a stoner. I guess it's OK for an introduction but it's not a glowing endorsement of the field as anything remotely useful or enlightening.
Tadas Talaikis
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism
Somewhat can be derived from The Selfish Gene, but still very good. Explains the ethics and "goodness" in realistic evolutionary economic terms.
Velvetink
May 16, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Tubel
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