BRLSI Philosophy - The Evolution of Ethics



06 November 2018


Dr Diana Fleischman, Portsmouth University

Human morality developed in small face-to-face groups in which humans lived for the last hundreds of thousands of years. In these environments, those who succeeded protected themselves against hostile outgroups, butchered animals, prioritized the welfare of themselves and their kin and managed to maintain a moral reputation while finding available opportunities for cheating. Humanity's moral limitations are plain in a world that is so different compared to the environment in which we evolved. Now that we are aware of the suffering of billions of strangers and trillions of animal and we must prevent artificial agents developing a morality completely antithetical to our survival. How does our evolved morality cope with this novel ethical landscape, and will we allow ourselves moral enhancement?

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Evolution of Morality.pdf