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Embedded and Embodied Moral Life

Embedded and Embodied Moral Life Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 77­92 Editions Rodopi © 2007 Evolutionary biology and other fields presupposing humans as products of natural selection (cognitive semantics, for example) have much to contribute to philosophic inquiry. This seems especially true for American philosophy in a broad "pragmatist" or "naturalist" tradition. I examine sociality as a precondition of being human (including the infant/mother dyad), embodied cognition, and culture as a product of ecological niche construction. I then make some suggestions, with Dewey in mind, as to the shape of our thinking about our moral lives once we recognize humans as squarely within the field shaped by evolutionary forces. 1. Certain sciences have long played an important role in philosophic inquiry. Mathematics, astronomy, and physics in particular have served not only as models for the kind of rigor expected of philosophy, but are taken as exemplars of the kinds of knowledge worthiest of pursuit. Taking as our model for philosophic rigor these sciences, though in many respects helpful in clarifying our philosophic ideas, can also be an impediment to analysis. These modes of inquiry are predicated on elimination of contingency, history, and situatedness. It doesn't matter if the concrete block http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Embedded and Embodied Moral Life

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 4 (2): 77 – Apr 21, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000073
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 77­92 Editions Rodopi © 2007 Evolutionary biology and other fields presupposing humans as products of natural selection (cognitive semantics, for example) have much to contribute to philosophic inquiry. This seems especially true for American philosophy in a broad "pragmatist" or "naturalist" tradition. I examine sociality as a precondition of being human (including the infant/mother dyad), embodied cognition, and culture as a product of ecological niche construction. I then make some suggestions, with Dewey in mind, as to the shape of our thinking about our moral lives once we recognize humans as squarely within the field shaped by evolutionary forces. 1. Certain sciences have long played an important role in philosophic inquiry. Mathematics, astronomy, and physics in particular have served not only as models for the kind of rigor expected of philosophy, but are taken as exemplars of the kinds of knowledge worthiest of pursuit. Taking as our model for philosophic rigor these sciences, though in many respects helpful in clarifying our philosophic ideas, can also be an impediment to analysis. These modes of inquiry are predicated on elimination of contingency, history, and situatedness. It doesn't matter if the concrete block

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2007

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