Books  Environmental Studies  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics

By: Paul Lawrence Farber

210 pages, no illustrations

University of California Press

Paperback | Jun 1998 | #75806 | ISBN: 0520213696
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx
Hardback | Dec 1994 | #35282 | ISBN: 0520087739
Out of Print Details

About this book

Evolutionary theory tells us about our biological past; can it also guide us to a moral future? Paul Farber's compelling book describes a century-old philosophical hope held by many biologists, anthropologists, pyschologists, and social thinkers: that universal ethical and social imperatives are built into human nature and can be discovered through knowledge of evolutionary theory. Farber describes three upsurges of enthusiasm for evolutionary ethics. The first came in the early years of mid-nineteenth century evolutionary theories; the second in the 1920s and 1930s; and the third arrived in the 1970s with the birth of sociobiology and the publications of Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson. Farber considers the devastating responses, many long forgotten today, made by philosophers at the time and concludes that the history of evolutionary ethics is essentially one of oft-repeated philosophical mistakes.

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Paul Lawrence Farber is Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Oregon State University, and author of books in both history of science and biology.

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