Cover image for The science of morality : the individual, community, and future generations
The science of morality : the individual, community, and future generations
Daleiden, Joseph L.
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Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1998.
Physical Description:
534 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
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BJ57 .D35 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 1

Choice Review

This intriguing and brave book is intended as a work of original, all-encompassing philosophical-scientific analysis. Daleiden attempts to contribute to a genre that is all but extinct in serious philosophical scholarship: works whose inspiration is to answer an enormous, eclectic range of questions by formulating the beginning of a new, unified, explanatory framework. The range of questions explored here in a reorientation of our approach to morality includes logical positivism, scientific theory and the philosophy of science, historical and current approaches to ethics and metaethics, the nature of causality, free will and determinism, utilitarianism and Rawlsian justice, various aspects of developmental psychology and moral development theory, sociobiology, anthropology, pornography, euthanasia, punishment, religious faith and mysticism, drug use, and the California Child Development Project. As might be expected--and as Daleiden acknowledges--most topics receive a preliminary, programmatic, even cursory examination. Daleiden's conclusion, that "the study of ethics must be removed from the disciplines of theology and perhaps philosophy" and instead addressed by his unique version of social science, is sure to stir debate. His premises would be more convincing absent the theoretical and historical errors and misinterpretations that mar his summaries of both the traditions and claims of science and philosophy. Recommended only as a general introduction. J. H. Barker Albright College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 7
Introductionp. 11
Part I. Developing a Metaethical Theory
1. Determining truth with a Small "t"p. 23
2. Free Will versus Determinismp. 53
3. Purpose and Metaethical Theoriesp. 86
4. Utilitarianismp. 125
5. Rawlsian Justicep. 137
6. Sociobiology--The Genetic Basis for Moral Developmentp. 157
7. Moral Development Theoryp. 181
8. Social Learning Theory and Behaviorismp. 194
9. Summary of Part Ip. 205
Part II. Establishing Ethical Norms
10. Morality as Harmonyp. 217
10 The Science of Morality
11. Promoting Harmony Through the Lawp. 259
12. The Role of Punishment in Modifying Behaviorp. 284
13. Promoting Harmony Through Prosocial Developmentp. 305
Part III. Applying Science to Assess Moral Issues
14. Drug Usep. 339
15. Abortionp. 348
16. Euthanasiap. 373
17. Sexual Behaviorp. 410
18. Erotica and Pornographyp. 446
19. Distributive Justicep. 470
20. Summary and Conclusionsp. 485
Appendix A. The Logical Positivist Debatep. 501
Appendix B. Causality, Predictability, and Chancep. 503
Appendix C. Motivations Beyond Rational Self-Interestp. 507
Appendix D. Theological Morality versus Humanist Ethicsp. 509
Appendix E. Competition and Cultural Conditioningp. 512
Appendix F. The California Child Development Projectp. 514
Selected Bibliographyp. 519
Indexp. 527