Moral Psychology, Volume 1

Moral Psychology, Volume 1

The Evolution of Morality: Adaptations and Innateness

Edited by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Christian B. Miller

Philosophers and psychologists discuss new collaborative work in moral philosophy that draws on evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience.

Bradford Books





Philosophers and psychologists discuss new collaborative work in moral philosophy that draws on evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience.

For much of the twentieth century, philosophy and science went their separate ways. In moral philosophy, fear of the so-called naturalistic fallacy kept moral philosophers from incorporating developments in biology and psychology. Since the 1990s, however, many philosophers have drawn on recent advances in cognitive psychology, brain science, and evolutionary psychology to inform their work. This collaborative trend is especially strong in moral philosophy, and these volumes bring together some of the most innovative work by both philosophers and psychologists in this emerging interdisciplinary field. The contributors to volume 1 discuss recent work on the evolution of moral beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. Each chapter includes an essay, comments on the essay by other scholars, and a reply by the author(s) of the original essay. Topics include a version of naturalism that avoids supposed fallacies, distinct neurocomputational systems for deontic reasoning, the evolutionary psychology of moral sentiments regarding incest, the sexual selection of moral virtues, the evolution of symbolic thought, and arguments both for and against innate morality. Taken together, the chapters demonstrate the value for both philosophy and psychology of collaborative efforts to understand the many complex aspects of morality.

ContributorsWilliam Casebeer, Leda Cosmides, Oliver Curry, Michael Dietrich, Catherine Driscoll, Susan Dwyer, Owen Flanagan, Jerry Fodor, Gilbert Harman, Richard Joyce, Debra Lieberman, Ron Mallon, John Mikhail, Geoffrey Miller, Jesse Prinz, Peter Railton, Michael Ruse, Hagop Sarkissian, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chandra Sekhar Sripada, Valerie Tiberius, John Tooby, Peter Tse, Kathleen Wallace, Arthur Wolf, David Wong

Bradford Books imprint


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262195614 608 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 7 illus.


$45.00 X ISBN: 9780262693547 608 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 7 illus.


Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Philosophy Department and Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, is Core Faculty at Duke's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and has secondary appointments in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and in the Duke University Law School.

Christian B. Miller

Christian B. Miller is A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and Director of the Character Project (


  • In the last decade moral psychology has been transformed into one of the most interesting and important areas of interdisciplinary research—a field where philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and economists interact productively. Recent theories and findings have generated a genuine and justified sense of intellectual excitement. If you want to see what all the excitement is about, this book is a great place to start.

    Stephen Stich

    Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University

  • Moral Psychology is a remarkable publishing achievement. Sinnott-Armstrong has a real talent for drawing together the cutting-edge researchers in the field, and letting them present their positions and challenge each other.These three substantial volumes cover many of the newer and more exciting issues being raised in ethics and moral psychology today. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know where the field is heading.

    Peter Singer

    Ira W. Decamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University