A Natural History of Human Morality

Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674915879
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural agent “we”.

A Natural History of Human Morality

Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674986824
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Winner of a PROSE Award, Association of American Publishers Shortlist, Cognitive Development Society Book Award A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year A Natural History of Human Morality offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on extensive experimental data comparing great apes and human children, Michael Tomasello reconstructs how early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species. "Tomasello is convincing, above all, because he has run many of the relevant studies (on chimps, bonobos and children) himself. He concludes by emphasizing the powerful influence of broad cultural groups on modern humans...Tomasello also makes an endearing guide, appearing happily amazed that morality exists at all." --Michael Bond, New Scientist "Most evolutionary theories picture humans as amoral 'monads' motivated by self-interest. Tomasello presents an innovative and well-researched, hypothesized natural history of two key evolutionary steps leading to full-blown morality." --S. A. Mason, Choice

A Natural History of Human Morality

Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780674088641
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural agent we ."

A Natural History of Human Thinking

Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674727568
Format: PDF
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Tool-making or culture, language or religious belief: ever since Darwin, thinkers have struggled to identify what fundamentally differentiates human beings from other animals. Michael Tomasello weaves his twenty years of comparative studies of humans and great apes into a compelling argument that cooperative social interaction is the key to our cognitive uniqueness. Tomasello maintains that our prehuman ancestors, like today's great apes, were social beings who could solve problems by thinking. But they were almost entirely competitive, aiming only at their individual goals. As ecological changes forced them into more cooperative living arrangements, early humans had to coordinate their actions and communicate their thoughts with collaborative partners. Tomasello's "shared intentionality hypothesis" captures how these more socially complex forms of life led to more conceptually complex forms of thinking. In order to survive, humans had to learn to see the world from multiple social perspectives, to draw socially recursive inferences, and to monitor their own thinking via the normative standards of the group. Even language and culture arose from the preexisting need to work together and coordinate thoughts. A Natural History of Human Thinking is the most detailed scientific analysis to date of the connection between human sociality and cognition.

The Origins of Morality

Author: Dennis Krebs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019977823X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Why do people behave altruistically in some circumstances, but not in others? In order to account fully for morality, Dennis Krebs departs from the dominant contemporary psychological approach to morality, which suggests that children acquire morals through socialization and cultural indoctrination. Rather, social learning and cognitive-developmental accounts of morality can be subsumed and refined in an evolutionary framework. Relying on evolutionary theory, Krebs explains how notions of morality originated in the first place. He updates Darwin's early ideas about how dispositions to obey authority, to control antisocial urges, and to behave in altruistic and cooperative ways originated and evolved, then goes on to update Darwin's account of how humans acquired a moral sense.

The Evolution of Morality

Author: Richard Joyce
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262263252
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Moral thinking pervades our practical lives, but where did this way of thinking come from, and what purpose does it serve? Is it to be explained by environmental pressures on our ancestors a million years ago, or is it a cultural invention of more recent origin? In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce takes up these controversial questions, finding that the evidence supports an innate basis to human morality. As a moral philosopher, Joyce is interested in whether any implications follow from this hypothesis. Might the fact that the human brain has been biologically prepared by natural selection to engage in moral judgment serve in some sense to vindicate this way of thinking -- staving off the threat of moral skepticism, or even undergirding some version of moral realism? Or if morality has an adaptive explanation in genetic terms -- if it is, as Joyce writes, "just something that helped our ancestors make more babies" -- might such an explanation actually undermine morality's central role in our lives? He carefully examines both the evolutionary "vindication of morality" and the evolutionary "debunking of morality," considering the skeptical view more seriously than have others who have treated the subject.Interdisciplinary and combining the latest results from the empirical sciences with philosophical discussion, The Evolution of Morality is one of the few books in this area written from the perspective of moral philosophy. Concise and without technical jargon, the arguments are rigorous but accessible to readers from different academic backgrounds. Joyce discusses complex issues in plain language while advocating subtle and sometimes radical views. The Evolution of Morality lays the philosophical foundations for further research into the biological understanding of human morality.

The Evolution of Morality and Religion

Author: Donald M. Broom
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521529242
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Accepted codes of conduct and established religions are features of human societies throughout the world. Why should this be? In this 2003 book, biologist Donald Broom argues that these aspects of human culture have evolved as a consequence of natural selection; that morally acceptable behaviour benefits the humans and other animals and that a principal function of religion is to underpin and encourage such behaviour. The author provides biological insights drawn especially from work on animal behaviour and presents ideas and information from the fields of philosophy and theology to produce a thought-provoking, interdisciplinary treatment. Scientists who read this book will gain an appreciation of the wider literature on morality and religion, and non-scientists will benefit from the author's extensive knowledge of the biological mechanisms underlying the behaviour of humans and other social animals.

Origins of Human Communication

Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262261200
Format: PDF, Docs
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Human communication is grounded in fundamentally cooperative, even shared, intentions. In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the especially cooperative structure of human (as opposed to other primate) social interaction. Tomasello argues that human cooperative communication rests on a psychological infrastructure of shared intentionality (joint attention, common ground), evolved originally for collaboration and culture more generally. The basic motives of the infrastructure are helping and sharing: humans communicate to request help, inform others of things helpfully, and share attitudes as a way of bonding within the cultural group. These cooperative motives each created different functional pressures for conventionalizing grammatical constructions. Requesting help in the immediate you-and-me and here-and-now, for example, required very little grammar, but informing and sharing required increasingly complex grammatical devices. Drawing on empirical research into gestural and vocal communication by great apes and human infants (much of it conducted by his own research team), Tomasello argues further that humans' cooperative communication emerged first in the natural gestures of pointing and pantomiming. Conventional communication, first gestural and then vocal, evolved only after humans already possessed these natural gestures and their shared intentionality infrastructure along with skills of cultural learning for creating and passing along jointly understood communicative conventions. Challenging the Chomskian view that linguistic knowledge is innate, Tomasello proposes instead that the most fundamental aspects of uniquely human communication are biological adaptations for cooperative social interaction in general and that the purely linguistic dimensions of human communication are cultural conventions and constructions created by and passed along within particular cultural groups.

Evolutionary Origins of Morality

Author: Leonard D. Katz
Publisher: Imprint Academic
ISBN: 9780907845072
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Four principal papers and a total of 43 peer commentaries on the evolutionary origins of morality. To what extent is human morality the outcome of a continuous development from motives, emotions and social behaviour found in nonhuman animals? Jerome Kagan, Hans Kummer, Peter Railton and others discuss the first principal paper by primatologists Jessica Flack and Frans de Waal. The second paper, by cultural anthropologist Christopher Boehm, synthesizes social science and biological evidence to support his theory of how our hominid ancestors became moral. In the third paper philosopher Elliott Sober and evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson argue that an evolutionary understanding of human nature allows sacrifice for others and ultimate desires for another's good. Finally Brian Skyrms argues that game theory based on adaptive dynamics must join the social scientist's use of rational choice and classical game theory to explain cooperation.

Evolution and Ethics

Author: Philip Clayton
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802826954
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Certain to engage scholars, students, and general readers alike, Evolution and Ethics offers a balanced, levelheaded, constructive approach to an often divisive debate.