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Q: moral criterion and moral sense

 
 
55hikky
 
Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 11:30 pm
A generic definition of each
or
This is an excerpt from A defense of Evolutionary Ethics, can someone summarize the following and explain the difference between moral criterion and sense as Darwin implies?
-----
" From the beginning of formulation of a moral theory, in the late 1830s, Darwin recognized a chief competitive advantage of his approach. He could explain what other moralists merely assumed: he could explain how the moral criterion and the moral sense were linked. Sir James Mackintosh, from whom Darwin borrowed the basic framework of his moral conception, declared that the moral sense for right conduct had to be distinguished from the criterion of moral behavior. We instinctively perceive murder as vile, but in a cool moment of rational evaluation, we can also weigh the disutility of murder. When a man jumps into the river to save a drowning child, he acts impulsively and without deliberation, while those safely on shore may rationally evaluate his behavior according to the criterion of virtuous behavior. Mackintosh had no satisfactory account of the usual coincidence between motive and criterion. He could not easily explain why impulsive actions might yet be what moral deliberation would recommend. Darwin believed he could succeed where Mackintosh failed; he could provide a perfectly natural explanation of the linkage between moral motive and the moral criterion. Under the aegis of community selection, men in social groups evolved sets of instinctive responses to preserve the welfare of the community. This common feature of acting for the community welfare would then become, for intelligent creatures who reacted favorably to the display of such moral impulses, an inductively derived but dispositionally encouraged general principle of appropriate behavior. What served nature as the criterion for selecting behavior became the standard of choice for her creatures as well."
 
View best answer, chosen by 55hikky
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 05:35 am
@55hikky,
Darwin was focused on biology, not morality.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 05:50 am
Darwin implies nothing about morality. The author of the piece you have quoted has made this up from whole cloth.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 05:00 pm
@55hikky,
55hikky wrote:
This is an excerpt from A defense of Evolutionary Ethics, can someone summarize the following and explain the difference between moral criterion and sense as Darwin implies?

It might be more accurate to ask not what Darwin implies by all this, but what the author misinterprets Darwin as implying.
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Feb, 2011 08:42 pm
@55hikky,
sense as the author implies*
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Feb, 2011 08:59 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Darwin was focused on biology, not morality.


You are implying that morality is not a function of biology?

If morality is a human trait (as it is), and humans are product of evolution than of course morality is an evolutionary trait.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 04:14 am
Nonsense. Morality could just as well be (and in my opinion is) a justification after the fact for an evolutionarily successful trait--regulating the behavior of members in a group.
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 02:32 pm
@Setanta,
to sentana and max,

talking about evolutionary ethics and moral relativity is great

but do you guys know what moral criterion and moral sense is..?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 02:39 pm
@55hikky,
Yeah, smartass, i do . . . and it has nothing to do with what Darwin wrote, which has not apparently sunk in with you.
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 02:39 pm
@rosborne979,
and to setanta

55:"what is 2+2?"
ros: "apples are great!"
set: "2 is a lame number"
55: "..."

guys, thanks for your opinions and beliefs... but if you can't answer the question, it would be nice if you didn't post anything.
this is not a "discussion" thread, it is a "question"
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 02:42 pm
@55hikky,
Oh, we answered the question--you just didn't like the answer. Your author is making **** up from whole cloth, ascribing to Darwin a position he never took. And if you think you can control how i or anyone else will respond to a thread here, i have bridge you might be interested in purchasing . . .

Don't tell me what to do.
55hikky
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 06:50 pm
@55hikky,
http://experts.uchicago.edu/experts.php?id=394

Can i see your credentials, setanta? I have difficulty determining your credibility from your ad hominem, juvenile defensive and evasive statements.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 08:55 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
Darwin was focused on biology, not morality.


You are implying that morality is not a function of biology?

No, I'm saying that article presented misrepresented the basic content of Darwin's thesis.

Empathy and compassion and altruism are characteristics of animal behavior which may indeed affect evolution through selection. But Darwin's basic thesis was focused on showing that Reproduction, Variation and Selection were sufficient to explain the changes observed in biology.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 09:04 am
@55hikky,
55hikky wrote:

and to setanta

55:"what is 2+2?"
ros: "apples are great!"
set: "2 is a lame number"
55: "..."

guys, thanks for your opinions and beliefs... but if you can't answer the question, it would be nice if you didn't post anything.
this is not a "discussion" thread, it is a "question"

We object to part of the premise of your original question. This is perfectly reasonable for us to do. If you have a more specific question to ask which avoids the objection to the premise, then ask it.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 09:56 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Oh, we answered the question--you just didn't like the answer. Your author is making **** up from whole cloth, ascribing to Darwin a position he never took.


"A Defense of Evolutionary Ethics" appears to belong to the controversial area of study known as sociobiology. Sociobiology attempts to explain human behavior by focusing on genes and biology. In this way sociobiologists attempt to bypass the explanations from culture, psychology, history, sociology, moral philosophy and other subjects that combine to give a fuller explanation of human behavior.

Darwin was not responsible for the misapplication of his theory.
Setanta
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 10:00 am
@55hikky,
My statements were juvenile or evasive, they were very much to the point--that your author is projecting onto Darwin's work something which is not actually there. Nor did i indulge in argumentum ad hominem--both Roswell and i have told you more than once that the concepts you wish to discuss are not relevant to Darwin's work. An argumentum ad hominem is a fallacy of irrelevance, one in which i would attack my interlocutor rather than addressing the question. As i've already pointed out, i answered the question, you just didn't care for the answer. There was also nothing defensive about what i wrote--there is nothing which i need defend.

Roswell has asked if you might reframe your question. I consider that to be eminently reasonable. You might put that question in terms of the author of your original passage's extrapolation of ideas from Darwin's work, since morality is not actually any part of Darwin's work.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 10:01 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
Darwin was not responsible for the misapplication of his theory.


This bears repeating and emphasis.
0 Replies
 
 

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