Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 17–32

Obligation and the new naturalism

  • Roger D. Masters
Article

Abstract

Although it has become increasingly evident that an adequate theory of obligation must rest on evolutionary biology and human ethology, attempts toward this end need to explore the full range of personal, cultural, and political obligations observed in our species. The “new naturalism” reveals the complexity of social behavior and the defects of reductionist models that oversimplify the foundations of human duties and rights. Ultimately, this approach suggest a return to the Aristotelian concept of “natural justice”.

Key Words

Obligation altruism law human ethology evolutionary theory natural justice 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Alexander, Richard D.: 1979, Darwinism and Human Affairs. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, Richard D.: 1987, The Biology of Moral Systems. N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, Richard D., et al.: 1979, Sexual Dimorphism and Breeding Systems in Pennepeds, Ungulates, Primates, and Humans. In N. Chagnon & W. Irons, (eds.), Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Scituate, MA: Duxbury Press. Pp. 402–435.Google Scholar
  4. Axelrod, Robert: 1984, The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  5. Barash, David: 1977, Sociobiology and Behavior. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  6. Beals, Allan R.: 1963, Golapur: A South Indian Village. N.Y.: Holt Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  7. Becker, Lawrence C.: 1986, Reciprocity. London: Routledge and Keagan Paul.Google Scholar
  8. Birke, Lynda: 1986, Women, Feminism, and Biology: The Feminist Challenge. N.Y.: Methuen.Google Scholar
  9. Bohannan, Paul: 1963, Social Anthropology. N.Y.:Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  10. Bonner, John Tyler: 1980, The Evolution of Culture in Animals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Campbell, Donald T.: 1980, Social Morality Norms as Evidence of Conflict between Biological Human Nature and Social System Requirements. In G. Stent, (ed.), Morality as a Biological Phenomenon. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 67–82.Google Scholar
  12. Chagnon, Napoleon and Irons, William, (eds.): 1979, Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective. Scituate, MA: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
  13. Chase, Ivan and Theodore de Witt: 1987, Vacancy Chains in Human and Nonhuman Animals. social Science Information, in press.Google Scholar
  14. Dawkins, Richard: 1976, The Selfish Gene. N.Y.: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. de Waal, Frans: 1982, Chimpanzee Politics. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  16. Dickemann, Mildred.: 1979, The Ecology of Mating Systemsin Hypergynous Dowry Societies, Social Science Information 18, 163–195.Google Scholar
  17. Flathman, Richard E.: 1972, Political Obligation. N.Y.: Atheneum.Google Scholar
  18. Fox, Robin: 1975, Primate Kin and Human Kinship. In Robin Fox, (ed.), Biosocial Anthropology. London: Malaby. Pp. 9–36.Google Scholar
  19. Gilligan, Carol: 1982, In a different Voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Goodall, Jane: 1982, Order without Law Journal of Social and Biological Structures 5, 353–360; reprinted in M. Gruter and P. Bohannan, (eds.) Law, Biology, and Culture. Santa Barbara: Ross-Erikson.Google Scholar
  21. Gruter, Margaret and Bohannan, Paul, (eds.): 1983, Law, Biology, and Culture. Santa Barbara: Ross-Erikson.Google Scholar
  22. Gruter, Margaret and Masters, Roger D., (eds.): 1986, Ostracism: a Social and Biological Phenomenon. N.Y.: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  23. Hamilton, William D.: 1964, The Genetical Evolution of Social Behavior. Journal of Theoretical Biology 7, 1–52; partly reprinted in A. Caplan, (ed.), The Sociobiology Debate, pp. 191–209.Google Scholar
  24. Hamilton, William D.: 1975, Innate Social Aptitudes of Man. In R. Fox, (.), Biosocial Anthropology. London: Malaby. Pp. 133–155.Google Scholar
  25. Harris, Marvin: 1977, Cannibals and Kings. N.Y.: Random House.Google Scholar
  26. Hinde, Robert A.: 1982, Ethology. Glasgow, Scotland: William Collins.Google Scholar
  27. Hirshleifer, Jack: 1985, The Expanding Domain of Economics. American Economic Review 75, 53–68.Google Scholar
  28. Kohlberg, Lawrence: 1981, The Philosophy of Moral Development. San Francisco: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  29. Kummer, Hans: 1979, On the Value of Social Relationshipsto Nonhuman Primates: A Heuristic Scheme. In Mario von Cranach, et al., (eds.), Human Ethology. Cambridge,England: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 381–395.Google Scholar
  30. Lockard, Joan S., (ed.): 1980, The Evolution of Human Social Behavior. N.Y.: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  31. Lowie, Robert H.: 1961, Primitive Society. New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  32. Lumsden, Charles J. and Wilson, Edward O.: 1981, Genes, Mind, and Culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. McGuire, Michael T. and Raleigh, Michael J.: 1986, Behavioral and Physiological Correlates of Ostracism. In M. Gruter and R. Masters, (eds.), Ostracism: A Social and Biological Phenomenon. N.Y.: Elsevier. Pp. 39–52.Google Scholar
  34. Martinez-Col, J. C.: 1986, A Bioeconomic Model of Hobbes' “State of Nature”. Social Science Information 25, 493–505.Google Scholar
  35. Masters, Roger D.: 1964, World Politics as a Primitive Political System. World Politics 16, 595–619.Google Scholar
  36. Masters, Roger D.: 1964, Genes, Language, and Evolution, Semiotica 2, 295–320.Google Scholar
  37. Masters, Roger D.: 1981, The Value — and Limits — of Sociobiology. In E. White, (ed.), Sociobiology and Human Politics. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Pp. 135–165.Google Scholar
  38. Masters, Roger D.: 1984, Explaining “Male Chauvinism” and “Feminism”: Cultural Differences in Male and Female Reproductive Strategies. In M. Watts, (ed.), Biopolitics and Gender. N.Y.: Haworth Press. Pp. 165–210.Google Scholar
  39. Masters, Roger D.: 1987, Gender and Political Cognition: Integrating Sociobiology, Ethology, and Political Science. Paper presented to Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, Chicago, Ill. September 5, 1987.Google Scholar
  40. Masters, Roger D.: 1989, The Nature of Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  41. Masters, Roger D., Sullivan, Denis G., Lanzetta, John T., McHugo, Gregory J., and Englis, Basil G.: 1986, The Facial Displays of Leaders: Toward an Ethology of Human Politics, Journal of Social and Biological Structures 9, 319–43.Google Scholar
  42. Maynar-SSmith, John: 1978, The Evolution of Behavior. Scientific American 239, 176–192.Google Scholar
  43. Nozick, Robert: 1974, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. N.Y.: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  44. Rawls, John: 1971, A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Ruse, Michael: 1986, Taking Darwin Seriously. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  46. Sayers, Janet: 1982, Biological Politics. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  47. Schubert, Glendon: 1987, Sexual Politics: Some Biosociopsychological Problems, Political Psychology 8, 61–94.Google Scholar
  48. Skinner, B. F.: 1965, Science and Human Behavior. N.Y.: Free Press.Google Scholar
  49. Trivers, Robert: 1971, The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology 46, 35–57.Google Scholar
  50. Trivers, Robert: 1974, Parent-offspring Conflict, American Zoologist 14, 249–264.Google Scholar
  51. Trivers, Robert: 1981, Sociobiology and Politics. In E. White, (ed.), Sociobiology and Human Politics. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Pp. 1–43.Google Scholar
  52. van Hooff, J.A.. R. A. M.: 1969, The Facial Displays of Catyrrhine Monkeys and Apes. In D. Morris, (ed.), Primate Ethology. N.Y.: Doubleday-Anchor. Pp. 9–81.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger D. Masters
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations