Hurd, James P. Books

Investigating the Biological Foundations of Human Morality an Interdisciplinary Perspective
1996 0-7734-8843-X
The central question of this volume is: To what extent is evolutionary biology a necessary and sufficient explanation for human morality? Biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, theologians, and philosophers address this question from their respective disciplines. Four main issues are addressed: Is human moral behavior unique? To what extent can it be explained using models of animal behavior? Does biology provide us only with a description of how morality has evolved, or can it also provide us with a prescription for what morality should be? If the latter, do we seek to prescribe moral behavior as that behavior which our biology has programmed, or is morality a culturally-designed resistance to our biological propensities? Can morality be adequately explained by a demonstration of natural selection operating at the individual level, or are we forced to consider natural selection operating at the level of the group or species? To what extent can humans make autonomous moral choices (i.e., choices not predetermined by biology or environment)? This volume will interest scholars, students, and academic libraries in the areas of sociobiology, ethics, religion, and social philosophy. It will serve as text for courses in ethics or sociobiology at the graduate level and as a supplementary text for courses in ethics, philosophy, psychology or anthropology at the undergraduate level.