The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress

The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress

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by Peter Singer
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691150699

ISBN-13: 9780691150697

Pub. Date: 05/19/2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

What is ethics? Where do moral standards come from? Are they based on emotions, reason, or some innate sense of right and wrong? For many scientists, the key lies entirely in biology—especially in Darwinian theories of evolution and self-preservation. But if evolution is a struggle for survival, why are we still capable of altruism?

In his classic study

Overview

What is ethics? Where do moral standards come from? Are they based on emotions, reason, or some innate sense of right and wrong? For many scientists, the key lies entirely in biology—especially in Darwinian theories of evolution and self-preservation. But if evolution is a struggle for survival, why are we still capable of altruism?

In his classic study The Expanding Circle, Peter Singer argues that altruism began as a genetically based drive to protect one's kin and community members but has developed into a consciously chosen ethic with an expanding circle of moral concern. Drawing on philosophy and evolutionary psychology, he demonstrates that human ethics cannot be explained by biology alone. Rather, it is our capacity for reasoning that makes moral progress possible. In a new afterword, Singer takes stock of his argument in light of recent research on the evolution of morality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691150697
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/19/2011
Edition description:
With a New afterword by the author
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,134,504
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2011 Edition xi
Preface xv
1 The Origins of Altruism 3
2 The Biological Basis of Ethics 23
3 From Evolution to Ethics? 54
4 Reason 87
5 Reason and Genes 125
6 A New Understanding of Ethics 148
Notes on Sources 175
Afterword to the 2011 Edition 187
Index 205

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