SEMINAR: EVOLUTIONARY AND DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVES ON MORALITY
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R. Jay Wallace
Description: The seminar will look at recent work on the evolution of capacities for moral agency and their development in individual humans, combining both philosophical and empirical perspectives on these issues. Authors to be discussed include Allen Buchanan, Philip Kitcher, Chris Korsgaard, Philip Pettit, and Sharon Street (on the philosophy side) and Kristin Andrews, Leda Cosmides, Cecilia Heyes, Michael Tomasello, and Frans de Waal (on the psychology side).
Those taking the seminar for credit must submit a term paper, of about 18 pages (5,000-5,500 words), by Friday, December 18. Regular participation in seminar discussions should also be regarded as a requirement of the course.
Schedule of Readings
- Introductory Meeting
- "Primates and Philosophers" by Frans de Waal (pp. 3-58)
- "Morality and the Distinctiveness of Human Action" by Christine Korsgaard
- "Reflections on the Evolution of Human Morality" by Christine Korsgaard
- The Evolution of Moral Cognition by Leda Cosmides, Ricardo Guzmán and John Tooby (pp 1- 55)
- "A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value" by Sharon Street
- "Does Evolutionary Psychology Show that Normativity is Mind-Dependent?" by Selim Berker
- The Birth of Ethics, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 (secs. 6.2 and 6.3); Comment by Tomasello; Reply to Tomasello
- "Is morality a Gadget? Nature, Nurture, and Culture in Moral Development" by Cecilia Heyes (pp 1-24)
- "Moral Reasoning: Theory and Research in Developmental Science" by Audun Dahl and Melanie Killen (pp 1-31)
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