Naturalizing Tomasello’s history of morality

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Building on different sources of theory, from paleontology to psychology, Michael Tomasello offers a plausible, even compelling, story about how our ancestors developed distinctive forms of collaboration, evolving mechanisms to support them, in the period from roughly 400,000 to 150,000 years ago. But he claims that this narrative explains why they would have begun to think in characteristically moral ways, developing notions like those of respect, desert, and commitment. Do the arguments rehearsed support that extra claim? It is not absolutely clear that they do.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-735
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Philosophy


  • Commitment
  • desert
  • morality
  • natural history
  • respect


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