Piękno i obowiązek. Etyka ewolucyjna a estetyka darwinowska
Duty and beauty. Evolutionary ethics in relation to the Darwinian aesthetics
Metaphysics, or the knowledge of what there is, has been traditionally placed at the pinnacle of philosophical hierarchy. It was followed by theory of knowledge, or epistemology. Practical knowledge of proper modes of conduct, ethics, came third, followed by aesthetics, treated usually in a marginal way as having to do only with the perception of the beautiful. The hierarchy of philosophical disciplines has recently undergone a substantial transformation. As a result, ethics has assumed a central role. The aim of this paper is to suggest that the hierarchy of philosophical disciplines is not yet complete and that one further step needs to be taken. According to the claim advocated here, it is not metaphysics, epistemology or ethics, but aesthetics that is the first and foremost of all philosophical disciplines. This claim is argued for by references to findings of evolutionary aesthetics, especially to Charles Darwin’s idea of sexual selection as elaborated in The Descent of Man. I also argue that Darwinian approach to morality is, and should be, derivable from an Darwinian aesthetics which lies at the core of his conception of sexual selection.
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