The Origins of Fairness

How Evolution Explains Our Moral Nature

Author: Nicolas Baumard

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190210230

Category: Philosophy

Page: 360

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In order to describe the logic of morality, "contractualist" philosophers have studied how individuals behave when they choose to follow their moral intuitions. These individuals, contractualists note, often act as if they have bargained and thus reached an agreement with others about how to distribute the benefits and burdens of mutual cooperation. Using this observation, such philosophers argue that the purpose of morality is to maximize the benefits of human interaction. The resulting "contract" analogy is both insightful and puzzling. On one hand, it captures the pattern of moral intuitions, thus answering questions about human cooperation: why do humans cooperate? Why should the distribution of benefits be proportionate to each person's contribution? Why should the punishment be proportionate to the crime? Why should the rights be proportionate to the duties? On the other hand, the analogy provides a mere as-if explanation for human cooperation, saying that cooperation is "as if" people have passed a contract-but since they didn't, why should it be so? To evolutionary thinkers, the puzzle of the missing contract is immediately reminiscent of the puzzle of the missing "designer" of life-forms, a puzzle that Darwin's theory of natural selection essentially resolved. Evolutionary and contractualist theory originally intersected at the work of philosophers John Rawls and David Gauthier, who argued that moral judgments are based on a sense of fairness that has been naturally selected. In this book, Nicolas Baumard further explores the theory that morality was originally an adaptation to the biological market of cooperation, an arena in which individuals competed to be selected for cooperative interactions. In this environment, Baumard suggests, the best strategy was to treat others with impartiality and to share the costs and benefits of cooperation in a fair way, so that those who offered less than others were left out of cooperation while those who offered more were exploited by their partners. It is with this evolutionary approach that Baumard ultimately accounts for the specific structure of human morality.
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The Origins of Justice

The Evolution of Morality, Human Rights, and Law

Author: John O'Manique

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812237061

Category: Law

Page: 206

View: 8015

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Offers a more benign view than that of Thomas Hobbes and later followers of the origins of the social contract. "A scholarly tour de force that situates the development of justice in relationships, beginning with the foundational human relationships of mother and child."—Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade
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The Primate Origins of Human Nature

Author: Carel P. Van Schaik

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119118190

Category: Social Science

Page: 544

View: 1187

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The Primate Origins of Human Nature (Volume 3 in The Foundations of Human Biology series) blends several elements from evolutionary biology as applied to primate behavioral ecology and primate psychology, classical physical anthropology and evolutionary psychology of humans. However, unlike similar books, it strives to define the human species relative to our living and extinct relatives, and thus highlights uniquely derived human features. The book features a truly multi-disciplinary, multi-theory, and comparative species approach to subjects not usually presented in textbooks focused on humans, such as the evolution of culture, life history, parenting, and social organization.
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Stead's Review

Author: William Henry Fitchett,Henry Stead,William H. Judkins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Australian periodicals

Page: N.A

View: 1752

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McGeorge Law Review

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law reviews

Page: N.A

View: 3064

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Subscription includes a yearly Review of selected California legislation.
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