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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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A Darwinian Naturalist's Perspective on Altruism

A Darwinian Naturalist's Perspective on Altruism

(p.151) 9 A Darwinian Naturalist's Perspective on Altruism
Altruism and Altruistic Love

Michael Ruse

Oxford University Press

Evolutionary ethics or “social Darwinism” is a powerful and wide-ranging doctrine or set of beliefs. In ethics and morality, it is useful to make a twofold distinction between “substantive” or “normative ethics” and “metaethics.” Darwin himself drew attention to the fact that more organisms are born than can possibly survive and reproduce and that this leads to what Darwin called a “struggle for existence.” Humans cooperate for biological ends, namely that they are “altruists” for their own biological ends.

Keywords:   evolutionary ethics, social Darwinism, substantive, normative ethics, metaethics

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