Précis: Our moral fate: Evolution and the escape from tribalism

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The book uses evolutionary principles to explain tribalism, a way of thinking and acting that divides the world into Us versus Them and achieves cooperation within a group at the expense of erecting insuperable obstacles to cooperation among groups. Tribalism represents political controversies as supreme emergencies in which ordinary moral constraints do not apply and as zero-sum, winner take all contests. Tribalism not only undermines democracy by ruling out compromise, bargaining, and respect for the Other; it also reverses one of the most important milestones of progress in how we understand morality: the insight that morality is not a list of commands to be unthinkingly followed, but rather that morality centrally involves the giving and taking of reasons among equals. Tribalism rejects this insight by branding the Other as a being who is incapable of reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalAnalyse und Kritik
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Biocultural theory
  • Cooperation
  • Environment of evolutionary adaptation
  • Evolution of morality
  • Ideology
  • Inclusive morality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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