Publications [#29582] of John Staddonsearch www.pbs.duke.edu.
- Staddon, J.E.R., Scientific imperialism and behaviorist epistemology.,
Philosophy & Behavior, vol. 32
pp. 231-242 .
(last updated on 2006/01/22)
E. O. Wilson and B. F. Skinner have argued for an evolutionary ethics that allows what ought to be to be derived from what is, ethics from science. But evolution is inherently unpredictable. Some practices whose benefits cannot be proved may nevertheless turn out to be good for the survival of a culture or the race. Others that seem good may turn out to be bad. Consequently the evolutionary argument implies that a successful culture will believe some things that cannot be proved. It also tells us we cannot know in advance what those things will be.