Fritz Allhoff
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2003): 81-109
Publication year: 2003

Fritz Allhoff, “Evolutionary Ethics from Darwin to Moore”, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2003): 81-109.

Abstract: Evolutionary ethics underwent a revival in the 1980s and 1990s, bringing adherents to defend views about the relationship between evolution and morality that had largely fallen out of disfavor by the beginning of the 20th century. In thinking about these more recent accounts, it is illustrative to reconsider the history of evolutionary ethics, both to see past errors and to see how novel contemporary accounts really are. This essay comprises a broad historical survey, starting with Charles Darwin (especially using Descent and his private notebooks) and Herbert Spencer, through the criticisms of T.H. Huxley, Henry Sidgwick, and G.E. Moore, and concluding with suggestions about ways forward.