Spring 2018 Colloquium Series - 23 March
Victor Kumar, Boston University :: Evolution, Culture, and Morality
Friday, March 23 2018
Humans evolved from simpler primate ancestors in part because they gained new moral adaptations. The evolution of morality involves three overlapping stages. The first stage is biological evolution of values and underlying emotions in social primates leading to our genus. The second stage is gene-culture co-evolution of norms and norm psychology in populations of humans leading to our species. The third stage is cultural evolution of religious, political and military institutions well after the birth of our species. Each stage involves complex co-evolutionary mechanisms between mind, sociality, and morality. The upshot is that humans couldn't have evolved biologically sophisticated mental hardware, nor culturally sophisticated mental software, without morality.