Social Evolution as Moral Truth Tracking in Natural Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morality can be adaptive or maladaptive. From this fact come polarising disputes on the meta-ethical status of moral adaptation. The realist tracking account of morality claims that it is possible to track objective moral truths and that these truths correspond to moral rules that are adaptive. In contrast, evolutionary anti-realism rejects the existence of moral objectivity and thus asserts that adaptive moral rules cannot represent objective moral truths, since those truths do not exist. This article develops a novel evolutionary view of natural law to defend the realist tracking account. It argues that we can identify objective moral truths via cultural group selection and that adaptive moral rules are likely to reflect such truths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-89
Number of pages14
JournalPolitics and the Life Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date2 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Natural Law
  • Social Evolution
  • Evolutionary Ethics
  • Biopolitics
  • Cultural Group Selection
  • Moral Realism
  • Moral Naturalism


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