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9781573922258

The Science of Morality

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781573922258

  • ISBN10:

    1573922250

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1998-09-01
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
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Summary

Arriving at universal principles by which we judge the moral content of our actions has long been considered the exclusive domain of theology and philosophy. But advances in science and technology have stretched our moral boundaries. Contending that we must stop excluding science from the moral process, Joseph L. Daleiden offers the radical view that only an interdisciplinary approach grounded in scientific method can hope to develop moral norms appropriate to today's world. Far from being absolute and timeless commandments, our norms are social rules of behaviour designed to balance the needs of the individual with those of the larger society. Enriched by recent developments in philosophy, psychology, neurology, physics, socio-biology, sociology, and economics, 'The Science of Morality' outlines a compelling set of hypotheses that challenges traditional notions of how moral behaviour is determined while focusing on the empirical questions that must be resolved if we are to confront such perplexing moral issues as abortion, euthanasia, drug use, poverty, and related problems.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7(4)
Introduction 11(12)
PART I. DEVELOPING A METAETHICAL THEORY 23(194)
1. Determining truth with a Small "t"
23(30)
2. Free Will versus Determinism
53(33)
3. Purpose and Metaethical Theories
86(39)
4. Utilitarianism
125(12)
5. Rawlsian Justice
137(20)
6. Sociobiology-The Genetic Basis for Moral Development
157(24)
7. Moral Development Theory
181(13)
8. Social Learning Theory and Behaviorism
194(11)
9. Summary of Part I
205(12)
PART II. ESTABLISHING ETHICAL NORMS 217(122)
10. Morality as Harmony
217(42)
11. Promoting Harmony Through the Law
259(25)
12. The Role of Punishment in Modifying Behavior
284(21)
13. Promoting Harmony Through Prosocial Development
305(34)
PART III. APPLYING SCIENCE TO ASSESS MORAL ISSUES 339(162)
14. Drug Use
339(9)
15. Abortion
348(25)
16. Euthanasia
373(37)
17. Sexual Behavior
410(36)
18. Erotica and Pornography
446(24)
19. Distributive Justice
470(15)
20. Summary and Conclusions
485(16)
APPENDICES 501(18)
Appendix A. The Logical Positivist Debate 501(2)
Appendix B. Causality, Predictability, and Chance 503(4)
Appendix C. Motivations Beyond Rational Self-Interest 507(2)
Appendix D. Theological Morality versus Humanist Ethics 509(3)
Appendix E. Competition and Cultural Conditioning 512(2)
Appendix F. The California Child Development Project 514(5)
Selected Bibliography 519(8)
Index 527

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