Reply to Comments

Abstract

Commentators on The Evolution of Moral Progress: A Biocultural Theory raise a number of metaethical and moral concerns with our analysis, as well as some complaints regarding how we have interpreted and made use of the contemporary evolutionary and social sciences of morality. Some commentators assert that one must already presuppose a moral theory before one can even begin to theorize moral progress; others query whether the shift toward greater inclusion is really a case of moral progress, or whether our theory can be properly characterized as ‘naturalistic’. Other commentators worry that we have uncritically accepted the prevailing evolutionary explanation of morality, even though it gives short shrift to the role of women or presupposes an oversimplified view of the environment in which the core elements of human moral psychology are thought to have congealed. Another commentator laments that we did not make more extensive use of data from the social sciences. In this reply, we engage with all of these constructive criticisms and show that although some of them are well taken, none undermine the core thesis of our book.

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The Journal is devoted to the fundamental issues of empirical and normative social theory, and is directed at social scientists and social philosophers who combine commitment to political and moral enlightenment with argumentative rigour and conceptual clarity. Published articles develop social theorizing in connection with analytical philosophy and philosophy of science.

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