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Philosophy of Science

Philosophic Exchange

2014

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Evolutionary Theory And Morality: Why The Science Doesn't Settle The Philosophical Questions, William J. Fitzpatrick Jan 2014

Evolutionary Theory And Morality: Why The Science Doesn't Settle The Philosophical Questions, William J. Fitzpatrick

Philosophic Exchange

Four decades ago, E.O. Wilson famously declared that “the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized." One still finds Wilson’s idea echoed frequently in popular science writing today. While I’m not going to deny that evolutionary biology and other sciences have important things to tell us about morality, I think there is a lot of confusion about what exactly they can tell us, and how much they can tell us. My aim here is first to make some distinctions and sort out some issues, and then to ...