Mere Rules do not Morality Make 21 November 2014

Mere Rules do not Morality Make by Douglas R McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Mere Rules Do Not Morality Make

The flourishing field of the role of evolution in the development of humanity’s moral capacity maintains that morality is the consequence of adaptation to a social environment.  Whether or not its orientation is genetics (kin selection from Hawkins, Dawkins, and Dennett[1]  or euociality from Nowak, Tarnita, and Wilson[2]) or neuroscience, it takes as its definition of morality to be “right and wrong conduct,” and argues that such a capacity can be seen as emergent across social species in the struggle to survive as a group or, especially in the evolutionary advantage that is humanity, as the evolutionary advantages that emerged with frontal cortex development, the amygdala, as well as the hormones oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, and dopamine.[3]  Frequently, the view of sociobiology contrasts its notion of morality as a natural, emergent characteristic with the notion that morality is a social construct, that is, a product only of culture.  What follows proposes that there are serious grounds for questioning both options:   evolution of morality and the social construction of morality.