Initiated by Robert Wesson,
Evolution and Human Values is a collection of newly written essays designed to bring interdisciplinary insight to that area of thought where human evolution intersects with human values. The disciplines brought to bear on the subject are diverse - philosophy, psychiatry, behavioral science, biology, anthropology, psychology, biochemistry, and sociology. Yet, as organized by co-editor Patricia A. Williams, the volume falls coherently into three related sections. Entitled Evolutionary Ethics, the first section brings contemporary research to an area first explored by Herbert Spencer. Evolutionary ethics looks to the theory of evolution by natural selection to find values for human living. The second section, Evolved Ethics, discusses the evolution of language and religion and their impact on moral thought and feeling. Evolved ethics was partly Charles Darwin's subject in
The Descent of Man. The last section bears the title Scientific Ethics. A nascent field, scientific ethics asks about the evolution of human nature and the implications of that nature for ethical theory and social policy. Together, the essays collected here provide important contemporary insights into what it is - and what it may be - to be human.
Robert GINSBERG: Editorial Foreword. Patricia A. WILLIAMS: Preface. Patricia A. WILLIAMS: Introduction. I. EVOLUTIONARY ETHICS: AMALGAMATING EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND ETHICS. Pitfalls: ONE. Robert WESSON: The Amorality of Darwinism. Dangers: TWO. Howard L. KAYE: Cultural Being or Biological Being: The Implications of Modern Biology. Prospects: THREE. David J. DEPEW and Bruce H. WEBER: Evolution, Ethics, and the Complexity Revolution. Visions: FOUR. John H. CAMPBELL: The Moral Imperative of Our Future Evolution. II. EVOLVED ETHICS: EXPLAINING HUMAN MORAL NATURE AS A PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION. Language and Ethics: FIVE. Bernard G. CAMPBELL: How Much in the Human Condition. Is without Counterpart in Other Animals? Religion and Ethics: SIX. Brant WENEGRAT: Belief in Unseen Beings: Its Evolutionary Basis and Its Effects on Morality. III. SCIENTIFIC ETHICS: COMBINING HUMAN NATURE AND ETHICS. Intelligence and Social Policy: SEVEN. Richard J. HERRNSTEIN: Choosing a Demographic Future. Altruism and Social Policy: EIGHT. Patricia A. WILLIAMS: The Implications of Biology for Liberalism and Conservatism. Agency and Social Policy: NINE. Alan GEWIRTH: Evolutionary Theory and Welfare Policy. About the Contributors. Index.