Book ID: CBB274495377

Our Moral Fate: Evolution and the Escape from Tribalism (2020)


Buchanan, Allen (Author)

The MIT Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 296
Language: English

A provocative and probing argument showing how human beings can for the first time in history take charge of their moral fate.Is tribalism—the political and cultural divisions between Us and Them—an inherent part of our basic moral psychology? Many scientists link tribalism and morality, arguing that the evolved “moral mind” is tribalistic. Any escape from tribalism, according to this thinking, would be partial and fragile, because it goes against the grain of our nature. In this book, Allen Buchanan offers a counterargument: the moral mind is highly flexible, capable of both tribalism and deeply inclusive moralities, depending on the social environment in which the moral mind operates.We can't be morally tribalistic by nature, Buchanan explains, because quite recently there has been a remarkable shift away from tribalism and toward inclusiveness, as growing numbers of people acknowledge that all human beings have equal moral status, and that at least some nonhumans also have moral standing. These are what Buchanan terms the Two Great Expansions of moral regard. And yet, he argues, moral progress is not inevitable but depends partly on whether we have the good fortune to develop as moral agents in a society that provides the right conditions for realizing our moral potential. But morality need not depend on luck. We can take charge of our moral fate by deliberately shaping our social environment—by engaging in scientifically informed “moral institutional design.” For the first time in human history, human beings can determine what sort of morality is predominant in their societies and what kinds of moral agents they are.

Reviewed By

Review Darcia F. Narvaez (2021) Review of "Our Moral Fate: Evolution and the Escape from Tribalism". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (pp. 98-99). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Agar, Nicholas
Lahti, David C.
Wilson, David Sloan
Dietrich, Eric
Clark, Anne B.
Churchill, Frederick B.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Biology and Philosophy
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Biological Theory
Cambridge University Press
Princeton University Press
Odile Jacob
University of Wisconsin at Madison
New York University
Rutgers University
Evolutionary psychology
Evolution and ethics
Human evolution
Behavioral sciences
Philosophy of science
Darwin, Charles Robert
Kinsey, Alfred C.
Buller, David J.
Stanovich, Keith E.
Great Britain
20th century, late
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, early

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