PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

Speaker: Ellen Clarke (University of Leeds)

Title: Evolution of Morality

Abstract: I will describe the ‘received view’ of how human morality evolved, and especially the influential ‘tribal social instincts hypothesis’. This idea, propounded in 2001 by cultural evolutionists Peter Richerson and Rob Boyd, posits that human morality evolved as an adaptive response to intense conflict between different human social groups. I review the evidence and articulate several criticisms of the hypothesis, as well as discussing possible rivals.

Further information

We are a group of researchers from diverse backgrounds in the above-mentioned groups (and beyond) who aim to gain an interdisciplinary yet deep understanding of the threads that bind the human mind and the world. In particular, this seminar series focuses on the nature of cognition, metacognition and social cognition. We’ll be tackling questions such as, what does it mean to think? What does it mean to think about thinking? And, what does it mean to think about one’s own thinking versus thinking about the thinking of other people? Please come along!

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Contact details

Tillmann Vierkant

Mar 09 2022 -

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

2022-03-09: Evolution of Morality

Room 2.12, Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE