Religion Past and Present

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Evolutionary Ethics
(680 words)

[German Version]

From the middle of the 19th century, evolutionists (Evolution) have been putting forward ethical theories based on evolutionism (Richards, 1987, Ruse, 1986, 1996, Russett,1976). Although the movement became known as “Social Darwinism” (Darwinism), the most ardent proponent was not the father of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, but his fellow countryman H. Spencer. As the movement's chief theoretician, Spencer argued that right conduct involves complete acceptance of the truths of evolution and a fervent intention to further th…

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Ruse, Michael, “Evolutionary Ethics”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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