Science and Moral Life   /   Spring 2013   /    Science And Moral Life

The New Science of Morality: A Bibliographic Review

Jan Slaby

In 1975, sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson proclaimed that the “time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of philosophers and biolo- gized.”  A minority position back then, Wilson’s advice is heeded more and more these days. Judging from a wave of publications in the last ten or so years, morality and ethics have migrated from the philosopher’s armchair to the lab bench of neuroscientists, the playbook of experimental psychologists, and the field sites of primatologists. Likewise, while many scholars in the humanities sniffed disapprovingly at Wilson—an ant ecologist grown grandiose in their eyes—today humanists enthusiastically jump on the science bandwagon, eagerly offering their services for synthesizing the new science of morality, drawing out implications, and spreading the word to the larger public.

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