This dissertation supports universalistic trends in political thought by arguing for a physiologically based moral sense underlying a realist version of evolutionary ethics. The project begins by arguing for a methodological anarchy that paradoxically works against the epistemological gap between natural and social science embodied in the "bifurcation thesis." Chapter Two examines the roots of moral intuitionism, and stresses the contradiction between the ubiquity of intuitions in moral philosophy and the simultaneous rejection of intuitionism, a contradiction that motivates the effort to ground moral intuitions more rigorously in physiology. Chapter Three extends the argument for naturalistic moral psychology by demonstrating how it could complement, rather than contradict, Charles Taylor's notions of moral frameworks and ontology. The ways in which conceptual and technological advances in science are being applied to moral philosophy are treated in Chapter Four. Chapter Five defends moral realism, but since evolutionary ethics is widely construed as a nonrealist position, Chapter Six uses evolutionary convergence to support the compatibility of evolutionary and realist moral perspectives. The final chapter briefly considers some relativistic concerns before sketching an evolutionary realist stance and applying it to several concrete issues generally regarded as moral concerns. Evolutionary moral realism simultaneously contributes to second order ontological and epistemological debates and clarifies positions regarding first order normative principles, such as consequentialism and contractualism. For both philosophers and scientists the broadest contribution of evolutionary realism is the notion that progress on any of these debates within moral philosophy will require integrating abstract theory with concrete empirical findings.
|Commitee:||Craiutu, Aurelian, Isaac, Jeffrey, Todd, Peter|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Philosophy, Political science|
|Keywords:||Ethics, Evolutionary ethics, Intuitionism, Moral realism, Moral sense|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be