Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame

Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame

Christopher Boehm


From the age of Darwin to the current day, biologists were grappling with the origins of our sense of right and wrong. Why, if the human intuition to outlive and reproduce is “selfish,” do humans interact in self-sacrifice, or even strengthen principles like advantage and disgrace to justify that altruism? Many theories were placed forth, a few emphasizing the position of nepotism, others emphasizing some great benefits of reciprocation or staff choice results. yet evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm unearths present factors missing, and in Moral Origins, he deals a chic new theory.

Tracing the improvement of altruism and staff social regulate over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our judgment of right and wrong is a cosmopolitan safety mechanism that permits contributors to outlive and thrive in teams. one of many largest dangers of workforce residing is the potential of being punished for our misdeeds by means of these round us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and particularly psychopaths—those who make it tough for others to move approximately their lives—are the main more likely to endure this destiny. Getting by way of calls for getting alongside, and this social kind of choice, Boehm indicates, singles out altruists for survival. this option strain has been specific in shaping human nature, and it bred the 1st stirrings of moral sense within the human species. eventually, it ended in the absolutely built experience of advantage and disgrace that we all know today.

A groundbreaking exploration of the evolution of human generosity and cooperation, Moral Origins deals profound perception into humanity’s ethical past—and the way it may well form our ethical future.

Show sample text content

Download sample