Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The evolution of morals - a nudge of clarity

Relevant to my recent post, This letter to the editor in the science section of the NYTimes from my Univ. of Wisconsin colleague Larry Shapiro, in the Philosophy Department:

To the Editor:

As a professional philosopher, I found myself with no worries about whether Marc Hauser’s theory would put my colleagues in ethics out of business. There’s a tremendous difference between the two questions: 1) Why do human beings make the judgments of right and wrong that they do?; and 2) Are these judgments correct?

Perhaps an evolutionary story can suffice to answer the first question, but I can’t imagine how it might answer the second.

Larry Shapiro
Madison, Wis.

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