Biology and the Foundations of Ethics

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 28, 1999 - Philosophy - 336 pages
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There has been much attention devoted in recent years to the question of whether our moral principles can be related to our biological nature. This collection of new essays focuses on the connection between biology and foundational questions in ethics. The book asks such questions as whether humans are innately selfish, and whether there are particular facets of human nature that bear directly on social practices. This is the first book to offer this historical perspective on the relation of biology and ethics, and has been written by some of the leading figures in the history and philosophy of science, whose work stands very much at the cutting edge of these disciplines.
 

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Contents

Aristotle on the Biological Roots of Virtue The Natural History of Natural Virtue
10
The Moral Status of Animals in EighteenthCentury British Philosophy
32
From Natural Law to Evolutionary Ethics in Enlightenment French Natural History
52
French Evolutionary Ethics during the Third Republic
84
The State and Nature of Unity and Freedom German Romantic Biology and Ethics
98
Darwins Romantic Biology The Foundation of His Evolutionary Ethics
113
Nietzsche and Darwin
154
Evolutionary Ethics in the Twentieth Century Julian Sorell Huxley and George Gaylord Simpson
198
The Laws of Inheritance and the Rules of Morality Early Geneticists on Evolution and Ethics
225
Scientific Responsibility and Political Context The Case of Genetics under the Swastika
257
The Case against Evolutionary Ethics Today
276
Biology and Value Theory
307
Notes on Contributors
329
Index
332
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Page 3 - The genes hold culture on a leash. The leash is very long, but inevitably values will be constrained in accordance with their effects on the human gene pool.

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