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Evolution & Ethics

China Values and Virtues

October 2010

The time has come, E. O. Wilson writes, “for ethics to be temporarily removed from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized.” Wilson seeks to divorce ethics from God (or any transcendental source or warrant), hoping “that if we explore the biosessionlogical roots of moral behavior, and explain their material origins and biases, we should be able to fashion a wise and enduring ethical consensus.” Ethics biologicized is ethics based on the evolution of various traits. Can ethics survive biologicization—can it be grounded in evolution alone?

Western Participants


  • Christian Miller, Wake Forest University
  • Kelly James Clark, Calvin College
  • Ryan Nichols, California State University
  • Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University
  • Mark Murphy, Georgetown University
  • Alan Love, University of Minnesota
  • John Cottingham, University of Reading
  • Christina Van Dyke, Calvin College

Conference Sponsors

This conference was sponsored by Peking University’sgroup Institute for Foreign Philosophy, Calvin College’s Nagel Institute and the Society of Christian Philosophers with funds generously donated by the John Templeton Foundation.


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Date & Location

October 22-24, 2010
Peking University

Conference Directors

Kelly James Clark and
Xu Xiangdong