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Shakespeare's Moral Compass$
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Neema Parvini

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474432870

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474432870.001.0001

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The Constrained Vision of Evolutionary Ethics

The Constrained Vision of Evolutionary Ethics

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter 2 The Constrained Vision of Evolutionary Ethics
Source:
Shakespeare's Moral Compass
Author(s):

Neema Parvini

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474432870.003.0002

This chapter adapts Thomas Sowell’s concept of the constrained (or “tragic”) and unconstrained (or “utopian) visions of humanity in its consideration of evolutionary ethics as a lens through which to approach Shakespeare’s plays. The first half summarises and explains the two visions, while the second traces the development of evolutionary ethics from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin to the work of E.O. Wilson, David Sloan Wilson, and Jonathan Haidt. Along the way, it considers the so-called “Darwin Wars” over the competing evolutionary theories of kin selection, group selection and species selection. Ultimately, the study aligns itself with the constrained vision and supports the emergent view in evolutionary literature of “group selection” following the work of Wilson, Sloan Wilson, and Haidt.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Literary Theory, Moral Philosophy, Morality, Jonathan Haidt, Moral Foundations Theory, Thomas Sowell, E.O. Wilson, Charles Darwin, David Sloan Wilson

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