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Faculty Book: Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson

Moral Animals—Ideals and Constraints in Moral Theory
(Oxford University Press, 2004; 332 pp.)

This original new theory of morality and human nature draws on philosophy, anthropology, evolutionary theory, and psychology, and is informed by a deep commitment to human well-being and equality. The author bases her theory on two fundamental premises: first, that moral progress implies the evolution of moral ideals involving restraint and sacrifice; second, that human beings are outfitted by nature with selfish motivations, intentions, and ambitions that place constraints on what morality can demand of them. She argues that social justice with respect to global disparities in well-being, and in the condition of women relative to men, depends on the relinquishment of natural and acquired advantage that is central to the concept of morality. Catherine Wilson is a professor of philosophy at The Graduate Center and Andrew Heiskell Faculty Scholar.

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Submitted on: SEP 30, 2004

Category: Faculty Books | Philosophy