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    11 Sep '16 21:11
    KJ, again the charge was to provide a plausible account of how the human moral faculty (that is, to first order, the human capacity to employ moralized concepts, think in moralized terms, and make moral judgments) is the result of evolutionary processes. I submitted chapters 1-4 of the Joyce book. I don't claim that anything Joyce presents there is particularly novel or ground-breaking; the same arguments could be cobbled together from preexisting independent literature. It's just that I think the account Joyce lays out in chapters 1-4 is particularly lucid, well-organized, well-reasoned, etc. (Chapters 5 onward deal with another matter altogether, and is another story.)

    You mentioned something like you are only one paragraph in and already have questions. So, let us discuss it here. I am not far enough into the Willard book to start a thread on it yet, but that will come later.
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    11 Sep '16 22:213 edits
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    KJ, again the charge was to provide a plausible account of how the human moral faculty (that is, to first order, the human capacity to employ moralized concepts, think in moralized terms, and make moral judgments) is the result of evolutionary processes. I submitted chapters 1-4 of the Joyce book. I don't claim that anything Joyce presents there is part ...[text shortened]... I am not far enough into the Willard book to start a thread on it yet, but that will come later.
    I'm going to go back and earnestly read the first four chapters, I've not really put in the
    effort I want to yet to do you justice. My first question basically goes to some of my
    questions or complaints on morality early on in another thread. If you don't want to touch
    upon this that far back in the process that will be fine, but I think it vital since it is
    foundational it seems on why Joyce assumes certain things.

    In chapter 2 Joyce sort of just assumed something that glosses over a question I've been
    asking, that is where do we see thought, thinking, reasoning, start out. He said early in
    the first sentence that we were ignorant of many things in our early social life except for
    one thing. He than states this one thing we were certain about! Okay, that struck me as
    an important point to him if we were certain about it. He then says that point was we
    through millions of years "cared" for our our infants.That basically assumes notions about
    so many things!

    I like grasping the starting points then address subsequent changes. If life started from
    non-life (not the topic I know) and then life started changing (now the topic begins) at
    some point life reaches a single cell and caring for young would not be a factor at that
    time!. If life turned into a plant first carrying for young would not be a factor at that time, If
    life's first multi-cell creature was an asexual creature life carrying for the young would not
    be a factor at that time either.

    Carrying for anything would begin how? To start assuming that is the case has been
    settled before the discussion even begins basically has more than half the issues already
    solved in my opinion. If we assume we have already been carrying than we can move
    from one point in morals to another without to much of a leap.

    I'll start on the chapters now and we can move on from here if it is okay with you?
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    12 Sep '16 00:20
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'm going to go back and earnestly read the first four chapters, I've not really put in the
    effort I want to yet to do you justice. My first question basically goes to some of my
    questions or complaints on morality early on in another thread. If you don't want to touch
    upon this that far back in the process that will be fine, but I think it vital since i ...[text shortened]... f a leap.

    I'll start on the chapters now and we can move on from here if it is okay with you?
    One thing about "caring": Is it a psychological state, that most scientists would not attribute to primitive plant life or is it physical attributes and behaviors that promote the likelihood of species survival, like stronger seed coatings able to pass through and be disbursed through the gut of a bird. The latter could plausibly develop through variation and selection but would not demand there be a psychological "caring" going on.

    I don't want to disrupt the conservation so feel free to ignore if not relevant.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    12 Sep '16 00:48
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'm going to go back and earnestly read the first four chapters, I've not really put in the
    effort I want to yet to do you justice. My first question basically goes to some of my
    questions or complaints on morality early on in another thread. If you don't want to touch
    upon this that far back in the process that will be fine, but I think it vital since i ...[text shortened]... f a leap.

    I'll start on the chapters now and we can move on from here if it is okay with you?
    Possibly you are going too far back in time, as far as nurture of offspring is concerned I suspect Joyce is referring to mammals at the widest rather than all life. Clearly other than producing the acorn an oak tree does little for its offspring, so I think (but haven't read Joyce's book and don't know) that you need to regard his statements as pertaining to hominids (i.e. great apes) at the widest and he probably means hominins (all species on the human side descended from the last common ancestor of humans and chimps). In other words, I'd only take his statements as pertaining to specifically human evolution.
  5. Standard memberKellyJay
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    12 Sep '16 02:16
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Possibly you are going too far back in time, as far as nurture of offspring is concerned I suspect Joyce is referring to mammals at the widest rather than all life. Clearly other than producing the acorn an oak tree does little for its offspring, so I think (but haven't read Joyce's book and don't know) that you need to regard his statements as pertaini ...[text shortened]... other words, I'd only take his statements as pertaining to specifically human evolution.
    How do you think the "feelings" begins where caring is a reality.
  6. Joined
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    12 Sep '16 02:261 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'm going to go back and earnestly read the first four chapters, I've not really put in the
    effort I want to yet to do you justice. My first question basically goes to some of my
    questions or complaints on morality early on in another thread. If you don't want to touch
    upon this that far back in the process that will be fine, but I think it vital since i ...[text shortened]... f a leap.

    I'll start on the chapters now and we can move on from here if it is okay with you?
    I see now that my advice regarding starting in at chapter 2 for expediency was probably not the best. Joyce is not just "assuming" or taking for granted the existence of prosocial and other-regarding attitudes featuring in the hominid line. In fact, he spends virtually the entirety of the preceding chapter, chapter 1, developing precisely that topic as it regards evolution of the "helping behaviors". He develops this through discussion of the primary selective mechanisms, such as kin selection, mutualism, cooperation, and reciprocity. It also helps to understand, as he also points out, that selection happens predominantly at the level of the gene. And, since a portion of an individual's own genes also reside in others depending on the degree of relatedness, it is not hard to understand why the selective mechanisms would press other-regarding attitudes into service. So, I would urge you now to look first at chapter 1.

    Also, you imply here that providing for other-regarding attitudes of care would be roughly half the work at getting to a moral faculty. But I think it is safe to say that Joyce would disagree with you there. He would probably say it is something significantly less than half the work. That's entirely the point he is trying to make when he brings up (or, actually, revisits) the point of infant care and kin selection at the beginning of chapter 2, as you would see if you read on a few pages past that first paragraph:

    "Why am I discussing kin selection and love? I want to establish...that in kin selection we have a quick and easy, empirically supported, evolutionary explanation for why humans might have "prosocial emotions" (e.g., love) toward certain others: emotions that provide the motivation for helping behaviors. But what I really want to emphasize here is how far this answer falls short of explaining morality....Suppose that we additionally appeal to mutualism or group selection and as a result can provide a cogent evolutionary explanation for a range of human prosocial emotions (love, sympathy, altruism) that extend generally, perhaps even universally, to our fellows. Many theorists seem willing to conclude that we would thereby have found the origin of human morality, that we could on such grounds declare that morality is part of human nature. I am keen to emphasize how mistaken this would be."
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    12 Sep '16 02:30
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I see now that my advice regarding starting in at chapter 2 for expediency was probably not the best. Joyce is not just "assuming" or taking for granted the existence of prosocial and other-regarding attitudes featuring in the hominid line. In fact, he spends virtually the entirety of the preceding chapter, chapter 1, developing precisely that topic as ...[text shortened]... t morality is part of human nature. I am keen to emphasize how mistaken this would be."[/quote]
    ☺️ Chapter 1 here I come
  8. Standard memberKellyJay
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    14 Sep '16 22:52
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I see now that my advice regarding starting in at chapter 2 for expediency was probably not the best. Joyce is not just "assuming" or taking for granted the existence of prosocial and other-regarding attitudes featuring in the hominid line. In fact, he spends virtually the entirety of the preceding chapter, chapter 1, developing precisely that topic as ...[text shortened]... t morality is part of human nature. I am keen to emphasize how mistaken this would be."[/quote]
    Almost done with 1 and my question still remains untouched.
    I don't think we can assume that just because we share certain gene that it would cause
    us to (like our own kind) if that were true why is the human race at each other's throats
    and dividing by color when we share much more than we differ on? We are after all the
    same race! You don't even have to go that broad, family squabbles would not happen
    if sharing a gene meant that much too, and I can promise you the family unit has issues.

    All of that still doesn't address how this all begins! Shoot, even eating requires something
    to say this is food that is not, and that doesn't address I'm hungry and I should eat. What
    chemical reaction built that into life's programming?
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    15 Sep '16 20:30
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I see now that my advice regarding starting in at chapter 2 for expediency was probably not the best. Joyce is not just "assuming" or taking for granted the existence of prosocial and other-regarding attitudes featuring in the hominid line. In fact, he spends virtually the entirety of the preceding chapter, chapter 1, developing precisely that topic as ...[text shortened]... t morality is part of human nature. I am keen to emphasize how mistaken this would be."[/quote]
    Completed 1st chapter, didn't see an evolutionary cause for morality. I did see why being helpful is better than, but I didn't need a chapter to tell me that. Why and how it started has been my question, is this something you can address or is it coming up in the book?
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    19 Sep '16 19:44
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Completed 1st chapter, didn't see an evolutionary cause for morality. I did see why being helpful is better than, but I didn't need a chapter to tell me that. Why and how it started has been my question, is this something you can address or is it coming up in the book?
    Your first concern you raised was that Joyce was just taking prosocial attitudes in the hominid line for granted. Surely, after reading the first chapter, you can see that concern was unfounded. After all, more or less the entirety of the first chapter is focused on evolutionary processes regarding the helping behaviors.

    It's also not surprising that you "didn't see an evolutionary cause for morality" in the first chapter. I presume Joyce would agree with you: that's why he takes another three whole chapters to fill in the rest of the puzzle. Perhaps you missed this part at the end of the first chapter:

    ”A great deal more could be said about all these evolutionary processes that favor the development of helpfulness, but a more detailed taxonomy is not my concern here. The question to which I now turn concerns natural selection’s means of achieving helpfulness. Suppose that in a population of ancestral bees there is pressure in favor of additional helpfulness, and the explanation of this pressure is kin selection. Knowing that this is the source of the pressure doesn’t tell us anything about how the additional helpfulness might be achieved. One thing we know is that natural selection can’t achieve the result of a more helpful bee by magic; it must go to work on whatever mechanisms are already in place governing the organism’s behavior, tweaking them or transforming them so as to encourage new or stronger helpful behaviors. For this reason, there is no general answer to the question of what means Mother Nature employs in order to achieve helpfulness, any more than there is one concerning the means by which organisms achieve locomotion. The mechanisms in place that determine the helping behaviors of bees are unlikely to bear much resemblance to those that ensure the helping behavior of chimpanzees. The evolutionary processes that explain such helpful behaviors may be broadly the same (it may be kin selection in both cases, for example), but the means by which those processes achieve results are going to differ remarkably.

    The thesis to be examined in the next three chapters is that among the means favored by natural selection in order to get humans helping each other is a “moral sense,” by which I mean a faculty for making moral judgments.”


    By the way, I plan to start a thread on the Willard book later this week.
  11. Standard memberKellyJay
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    19 Sep '16 20:34
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Your first concern you raised was that Joyce was just taking prosocial attitudes in the hominid line for granted. Surely, after reading the first chapter, you can see that concern was unfounded. After all, more or less the entirety of the first chapter is focused on evolutionary processes regarding the helping behaviors.

    It's also not surprising that ...[text shortened]... judgments.”[/quote]

    By the way, I plan to start a thread on the Willard book later this week.
    Yes I've started reading the rest already, but so far he has not really addressed the
    beginning in the way I was hoping. I'll complete the first 4 chapters before I write any
    more. I am looking forward to your views on chapter 1 of DW book.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    24 Sep '16 03:41
    How is your reading coming along?
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    24 Sep '16 15:23
    Hi KJ. I have finished the first chapter and will start a thread on it this weekend when I have a chance to sit down and do it.
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    27 Sep '16 16:12
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Hi KJ. I have finished the first chapter and will start a thread on it this weekend when I have a chance to sit down and do it.
    Busy? πŸ™‚
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    27 Sep '16 17:501 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Busy? πŸ™‚
    Sorry for the delay.

    Thread 170246
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