Joyce's book is brilliant. There is nothing more important than knowing what we are doing when we speak in the language of value. We are animals that judge with cognitve and affective equipment. Joyce explains who we are. Nothing matters more.(Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University)
Morality is often considered the opposite of human nature: our main tool to keep human nature in check. Yet the moral sense likely evolved along with the rest of human sociality. Exploring this evolutionary angle, Richard Joyce provides a revealing philosopher's account of what makes us moral primates.(Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape)
Why do humans not just help each other and feel bad when they harm each other but also make specifically moral judgments about helping and harming? I know of no better discussion of this central question than Joyce's admirably clear, concise, and critical survey. Joyce's answer and his arguments will challenge philosophers and move the debates to new levels.(Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Professor of Philosophy and Hard Professor of Legal Studies, Dartmouth College)
Joyce's approach is refreshing, and he wears his learning lightly...[He] does an excellent job of bringing philosophy to the ordinary reader, using striking and quirky examples of different moral judgements...His bold, jargon-free approach means that this work is serious philosophy can nonetheless by understood by the non-philosophically trained layperson.(Matthew Cobb Times Literary Supplement)
In his enjoyable and informative book The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce distinguishes between explaining how natural selection might explain socially useful behavior in animals and what more is needed to explain morality, with its thoughts about right or wrong, in human beings. Contrary to what others have said, Joyce argues plausibly that, to the extent that our moral concepts and opinions are the results of natural selection, there is no rational basis for these concepts and opinions.(Gilbert Harman, Department of Philosophy, Princeton University)
This book is a tour de force, synthesizing disparate literatures into a pleasing whole. Joyce's writing is clear, articulate, and enjoyable, and his presentation masterful.(William D. Casebeer, Associate Professor of Philosophy, U.S. Air Force Academy)
About the Author
Richard Joyce is Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington.