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Sentimental RulesOn the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgement$
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Shaun Nichols

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195169344.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

Moral Evolution

Moral Evolution

(p.141) 7 Moral Evolution
Sentimental Rules

Shaun Nichols

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   affective resonance, cultural evolution, cultural variation, harm norms, moral progress, moral realism

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