This chapter turns to the genealogy of “harm norms,” norms against causing pain and suffering to others. The chapter sets out a range of historical and anthropological facts that need to be captured by a genealogy of harm norms. In particular, an adequate genealogy needs to explain the broad similarities and differences in harm norms across cultures and the characteristic evolution of harm norms. One prominent explanation for these facts appeals to moral progress. This chapter proposes an alternative account of the genealogy of norms that draws on the central thesis of chapter 6, that norms which resonate with our emotions will be more likely to survive.
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