Chapter

Introduction and Overview

Dennis L. Krebs

in The Origins of Morality

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778232
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897261 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778232.003.0009
Introduction and Overview

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This chapter contains an account of the development of the author’s understanding of what morality is and where it comes from, and an explanation for why he decided to abandon popular psychological approaches in favor of an evolutionary approach. Although the dominant contemporary psychological approach to morality—cognitive-developmental theory—accounts for aspects of morality that other approaches are unable to explain, it is poorly equipped to account for the ways in which people make moral decisions in their everyday lives. Evolutionary approaches to morality focus on the selection of mental mechanisms that disposed early humans to form groups and to uphold cooperative social orders in order to adapt to their environments.

Keywords: sources of morality; cognitive-developmental theory; evolutionary approaches; selection; cooperative social orders

Chapter.  5898 words. 

Subjects: Psychology

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