Morality: A Natural History

Morality: A Natural History

by Roger V. Moseley
Morality: A Natural History

Morality: A Natural History

by Roger V. Moseley


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What is morality and what is the source of our moral ideas? Philosophers have explored these questions for centuries, suggesting that both emotion and reason play roles but failing to explain how and why Homo sapiens developed these ideas. Author Roger Moseley argues that evolutionary forces that optimize human welfare provide the missing explanation. Morality: A Natural History presents a multi-disciplinary analysis of the topic and reveals a common thread among the seemingly diverse fields of religion, neuroscience, experimental psychology and game theory, child development, evolution and animal behavior, and anthropology and sociology.

When humans first appeared, a simple self-interested survival morality sufficed. As societies became more complex, however, rules of behavior became necessary to limit conflict and promote cooperation. The brain evolved, producing language that allowed the articulation of moral ideas which were codified and enforced by religion and social forces. No species lasts forever, and it is at our peril today that we neglect those evolved moral values of cooperation, altruism, truthfulness, and empathy.

Rooted in scientific evidence and interspersed with personal anecdotes and humorous observations, Moseley provides a unique perspective on the natural history of morality - how it appeared, evolved, and continues to evolve today. Morality: A Natural History is essential reading for academics and laypersons alike who seek to understand the origin and essence of human morality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781525537295
Publisher: FriesenPress
Publication date: 10/17/2019
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Roger V. Moseley received an A.B. with Highest Honors in Chemistry from Princeton University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Following military service, where he was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as a combat surgeon in the U.S. Army Surgical Research Team in Vietnam, Moseley became Chief of General Surgery at the Medical Center of Princeton. Moseley is the author of many articles in surgical and scientific literature, and served as a physician to high-altitude climbing expeditions on four continents. Now retired from surgical practice and mountaineering, Moseley continues to serve on the Medical Ethics Committee of the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and travels frequently, often with family including ten grandchildren. He welcomes spirited discussions on the origin of the universe, the meaning of life and any other topic best enjoyed over a cool pint of beer with friends.
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