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Evolution and MoralityNOMOS LII$
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James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771228

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.001.0001

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Naturalistic Ethics Without Fallacies

Naturalistic Ethics Without Fallacies

(p.3) 1 Naturalistic Ethics Without Fallacies
Evolution and Morality

Philip Kitcher

NYU Press

This introductory chapter discusses pragmatic naturalism, approaching ethics from an evolutionary point of view. Pragmatic naturalism conceives of ethics as a project, something in which human beings have been involved for most of their history as a species. It is not complete but, rather, something that has grown in various forms, something contemporary people have to decide how to continue. The original function of ethics was the remedying of altruism failures. An ethical project that ignored the problem of altruism failures would essentially revert to the pre-ethical state. As such, the choices in pursuing the ethical project seem to be limited to a spectrum of approaches that emphasize the problem of remedying altruism failures.

Keywords:   pragmatic naturalism, ethics, altruism failures, ethical project

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