The function of morality is a matter of what morality is ‘for’, what its purpose is or what goal it is designed to achieve. This chapter shows that the appeal to the distinction between why-questions and how-questions defeats any challenge to the point and legitimacy of asking the question as to the function of morality. One of the most interesting, well-developed and important versions of the view that morality has a cooperative function has been developed by Michael Tomasello as part of a broader project concerned with the origins of human cognition. It will be instructive to consider Tomasello’s perspective on morality in some detail. Tomasello’s goal is to provide what he calls a ‘natural history of morality’, an account of how morality developed in the human species. Morality is something that emerged in the species as a result of a process of intellectual reflection and subsequent insight into our situation when we attempt to cooperate.
Cain, Mark J.
Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2020Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-11-23
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