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Puzzling questions, not beyond all conjecture. Boehm's ‘Evolutionary origins of morality’

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Abstract:

Christopher Boehm's always intriguing and stimulating work in biological anthropology in some ways revives the interest in reconstructing origins which preoccupied cultural anthropology in the last half of the nineteenth century. This essay falls into a difficulty the earlier studies encountered, a tendency to metaphysical speculation leading to assertions which do not readily lend themselves to the confirmation or disconfirmation procedures that allow scientific advance. More seriously, the notion of ‘common good’ is also less precise and nuanced than any theory of morality and its origins requires.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Anthropology, 380 MFAC, Ellicott Complex, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA.

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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