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The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics

by

The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Evolutionary theory tells us about our biological past; can it also guide us to a moral future? Paul Farber's compelling book describes a century-old philosophical hope held by many biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and social thinkers: that universal ethical and social imperatives are built into human nature and can be discovered through knowledge of evolutionary theory.

Farber describes three upsurges of enthusiasm for evolutionary ethics. The first came in the early years of mid-nineteenth century evolutionary theories; the second in the 1920s and '30s, in the years after the cultural catastrophe of World War I; and the third arrived with the recent grand claims of sociobiology to offer a sound biological basis for a theory of human culture.

Unlike many who have written on evolutionary ethics, Farber considers the responses made by philosophers over the years. He maintains that their devastating criticisms have been forgotten—thus the history of evolutionary ethics is essentially one of oft-repeated philosophical mistakes.

Historians, scientists, social scientists, and anyone concerned about the elusive basis of selflessness, altruism, and morality will welcome Farber's enlightening book.

Synopsis:

Evolutionary theory tells us about our biological past; can it also guide us to a moral future? By focusing on three upsurges of interest in evolutionary ethics — in the mid-nineteenth century, spearheaded by Charles Darwin; from the interwar period of the teens to the mid-1960s, led by Julian Huxley and Charles Waddington; and in the years since 1975, with sociobiology — Paul Farber's compelling book describes a century-old philosophical hope held by many biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and social thinkers: that universal ethical and social imperatives are built into human nature and can be discovered through knowledge of evolutionary theory.

"An engaging and accessible history of evolutionary ethics in the Anglo-American world". — Ethics

About the Author

Paul Lawrence Farber is Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Oregon State University, and author of books in both history of science and biology.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520213692
Author:
Farber, Paul Lawrence
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley :
Subject:
History
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Ethics, evolutionary
Subject:
Ethics, Evolutionary -- History.
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
TM12-240
Publication Date:
19980631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 0.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages University of California Press - English 9780520213692 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Evolutionary theory tells us about our biological past; can it also guide us to a moral future? By focusing on three upsurges of interest in evolutionary ethics — in the mid-nineteenth century, spearheaded by Charles Darwin; from the interwar period of the teens to the mid-1960s, led by Julian Huxley and Charles Waddington; and in the years since 1975, with sociobiology — Paul Farber's compelling book describes a century-old philosophical hope held by many biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and social thinkers: that universal ethical and social imperatives are built into human nature and can be discovered through knowledge of evolutionary theory.

"An engaging and accessible history of evolutionary ethics in the Anglo-American world". — Ethics

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