The Maternal Bond in Ethics and Evolution (25-36)

John Mizzoni

ABSTRACT: The scope of the humanities has been broadened by tracing the evolutionary roots of human biology. A salient example of the move in this direction is the philosophical study of ethics. Specifically, Nel Noddings’ theory of Care Ethics has made contributions to an evolutionary understanding of morality as having developed through several paths, one of them stemming from the maternal instinct. Recent scientific research on the brains of pregnant women supports Noddings’ philosophical sketch. Thus, Noddings’ work contributes to the Explaining Morality Program (EMP). The scientific models of morality in the EMP can become stronger if they can incorporate Noddings’ insights about a maternal evolutionary path to morality.

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