Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 723–731

Moral Realism and Teleosemantics

  • R. Joyce

DOI: 10.1023/A:1012280429613

Cite this article as:
Joyce, R. Biology & Philosophy (2001) 16: 723. doi:10.1023/A:1012280429613


William Harms has argued that if human morality is the product ofnatural selection, moral realism will follow. The thesis that hethinks allows this bridge is teleosemantics. This argument ismistaken. Even granting both premises, forms of radical moralnon-realism remain viable, since the utterance of mistaken statements(or commands) may enhance reproductive fitness.

evolutionary ethics Harms moral realism teleosemantics 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Joyce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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