The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has the ability to mindfully orchestrate the direction our built environments push us with regards to climate change, occupant wellbeing, and the evolution of life on this planet. But it requires we construct our “niches” in a manner that consistently provides environments aligned with our individual and group level needs, including long term needs associated with social stability and environmental sustainability.
TVOL is pleased to explore the question “Is there a universal morality?” with the help of philosophers and scientists at the forefront of studying morality in light of “this view of life”. Our fifteen essayists provided a surprising diversity of answers to the question.
Universal moral intuitions are like anchors, invisible from the surface but immovably secured to the seabed, whereas culturally prevalent moral norms are like buoys on the surface of the water, available to direct observation.
Tinbergen’s four questions apply to any variation-and-selection process, including but not restricted to genetic evolution. Accordingly, they can be insightful for the study of moral universals and particulars as products of human genetic and cultural evolution.
Properly understood, morality is not a burden; it is an effective means for increasing the benefits of cooperation, especially emotional well-being resulting from sustained cooperation with family, friends, and community.
You don’t need much in the way of normative assumptions to convert facts into values. Consider the assertion: "All else being equal, more wellbeing is better than less." Who could object? It’s all but definitionally true.
Most comparative studies of human moral judgment have been restricted to large-scale, industrialized populations, but critical tests of putative universals must include small-scale societies.