The Proposal for Darwinian Morality Offered by Michael Ruse: A Critical Assessment

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The Proposal for Darwinian Morality Offered by Michael Ruse: A Critical Assessment

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Title: The Proposal for Darwinian Morality Offered by Michael Ruse: A Critical Assessment
Author: Hatfield, Jeremy Shane
Advisor: Cabal, Theodore J
Abstract: ABSTRACT

This dissertation describes and critiques the Darwinian proposal for morality constructed by Professor Michael Ruse. Chapter 1 outlines Ruse's background and Darwinian worldview while also depicting some inherent obstacles to the Darwinian worldview. Chapter 2 describes the moral anti-realism of Professor Ruse and illustrates his position as Hume updated by Darwin. Ruse's ethical skepticism denies genuine objectivity in morality, but he also rejects traditional subjectivism. Ruse describes himself as a subjectivist of a distinct kind. Chapter 3 examines the central and most controversial tenet of Ruse's moral proposal: the illusion of objectivity. Analysis and critique is offered of Ruse's proposal that objectivity is an illusion foisted upon all humans by natural selection. Chapter 4 describes how Ruse defines altruism and illustrates the fundamental problem that genuine altruism is for Darwinism. A charge is offered that Darwinism only supports pseudo-altruism and cannot successfully justify the common practice of authentic altruism. Chapter 5 concludes the dissertation and offers an argument that the nature of God serves as a far superior foundation for morality than Ruse supplies in his proposal. The doctrine of the imago dei provides a robust account of human dignity and morality.

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10392/4524
Date: 2013-12-31

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