So Human an Animal: Evolution and Ethics
DOI link for So Human an Animal: Evolution and Ethics
So Human an Animal: Evolution and Ethics book
This chapter explores ethics and ethical behavior as a model case to illuminate the interplay between biology and culture. A distinctive human social trait is culture, which may be understood as the set of nonstrictly biological human activities and creations. Culture includes social and political institutions, religious and ethical traditions, language, common sense and scientific knowledge, art and literature, technology, and in general all the creations of the human mind. Cultural inheritance has ushered in cultural evolution, that is, the evolution of knowledge, social structures, ethics, and all other components that make up human culture. The Office of Management and the Budget of the US government has estimated that fifty percent of all economic growth in the United States since the Second World War can directly be attributed to scientific knowledge and technological advances. Knowledge also derives from other sources, such as common sense, artistic and religious experience, and philosophical reflection.