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The Evolution of Morality

The Evolution of Morality by Todd K. Shackelford
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This interdisciplinary collection presents novel theories, includes provocative re-workings of longstanding arguments, and offers a healthy cross-pollination of ideas to the morality literature. Structures, functions, and content of morality are reconsidered as cultural, religious, and political components are added to the standard biological/environmental mix. Innovative concepts such as the Periodic Table of Ethics and evidence for morality in non-human species illuminate areas for further discussion and research. And some of the book’s contributors question premises we hold dear, such as morality as a product of reason, the existence of moral truths, and the motto “life is good.”

Highlights of the coverage:

  • The tripartite theory of Machiavellian morality: judgment, influence, and conscience as distinct moral adaptations.
  • Prosocial morality from a biological, cultural, and developmental perspective.
  • The containment problem and the evolutionary debunking of morality.
  • A comparative perspective on the evolution of moral behavior.
  • A moral guide to depravity: religiously-motivated violence and sexual selection.
  • Game theory and the strategic logic of moral intuitions.

The Evolution of Morality makes a stimulating supplementary text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in the evolutionary sciences, particularly in psychology, biology, anthropology, sociology, political science, religious studies, and philosophy

Springer International Publishing; August 2015
327 pages; ISBN 9783319196718
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Title: The Evolution of Morality
Author: Todd K. Shackelford; Ranald D. Hansen
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