Natural law and natural selection: deontic reasoning as part of evolved human nature

Fiddick, Larry (2004) Natural law and natural selection: deontic reasoning as part of evolved human nature. In: Crawford, Charles, and Salmon, Catherine, (eds.) Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy and Personal Decisions. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, New Jersey, USA, pp. 169-194.

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The application of evolutionary psychology, with its emphasis on a universal human nature, to natural law legal analyses, which seek to ground human laws in human nature, would appear to be an obvious practical extension of the former. Indeed, evolutionary psychological research on deontic reasoning speaks directly to questions of intuitive conceptions of rights and duties that may conceivably guide legal reasoning. Evolutionary psychology can, therefore, buttress theories of natural law at one of their weakest points by providing scientifically credible foundations for the basic concepts of the approach: rights, duties, human nature, and so on that have often appeared metaphysically suspect. The fit between evolutionary psychology and natural law is far from perfect however. Besides simply lending scientific credence to natural law theories' conceptual framework, evolutionary investigations of deontic reasoning also raise questions about the adequacy of that framework. This chapter reviews the psychological literature in detail, exploring the convergences and divergences with jurisprudence in an effort to reach a balanced assessment of the support evolutionary theorizing has to offer natural law theories.

Item ID: 9922
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-8058-4946-2
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Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2010 04:10
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies @ 50%
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