Location: Home» News» Events

The Talk: "The Evolution of Morality"

Professor Stephen Stich's Talk on "The Evolution of Morality"
The Department of Philosophy, the Institute of Foreign Philosophy, and the Center for the Studies of Analytic Philosophy at Peking University invite Professor Stephen Stich (Rutgers University, USA) to visit Peking University on November 29th, 2018. Professor Stephen Stich kindly accepts the invitation and will deliver a talk on the evolution of morality during 10:00-12:00 on November 29th, 2018 in Room 109 of the No. 3 Yard of Lee Shau-kee Humanities Buildings. Please find more details from the following description.
  The Talk: "The Evolution of Morality;"
  The Speaker: Stephen Stich (Rutgers University, USA);
  The Time: 10:00-12:00 on November 29th, 2018;
  The Locus: Room 109 of the No. 3 Yard of Lee Shau-kee Humanities Buildings;
  The Abstract for the Talk:
  The theory of moral psychology proposed by Sripada & Stich,* and many other theories in which social learning plays a major role, suggests that people will often internalize norms that reduce their own biological fitness. It might be thought that no such psychological mechanism could possibly evolve. But that would be a mistake. In this talk I’ll explain why it was all but inevitable that natural selection would lead to moral psychology in our species, once we had acquired the ability to learn from one another. The account I’ll offer explains why many moral norms foster cooperative or pro-social behavior. It also explains why many human norms lead to ethnic hatred and morally repugnant behavior. If the account is correct, these norms will be very difficult to dislodge, and robust cultural differences in norms are likely to be widespread.
  *Chandra Sripada & Stephen Stich, “A Framework for the Psychology of Norms,” in P. Carruthers, S. Laurence & S. Stich, eds., The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition. (New York: Oxford University Press), 2006. pp. 280-301.