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21st-century science adds little to our understanding of moral philosophy

By Jonathan Rée   January 2014

Tuschman “seeks to locate the sources of morality in imperatives of primate survival” but it ends up sounding “like a just-so-story.” ©Federico Gambarini/DPA/Corbis

Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us By Avi Tuschman (Prometheus Books, £15.40)

Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them By Joshua Greene (Atlantic, £15.99)

Utilitarianism is, by common consent, the harshest and dreariest of philosophical systems, and its inventor, Jeremy Bentham, one of the biggest buffoons of all time. He seems to have imagined…

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