It is hard to understand how the issue of the evolution of ethics turned into a reductionist fantasy by scientists. The issue is a series of ‘hard questions’ that defy easy answers, but the response has been a consistent series of idiocies of theory that fail to grapple with the possibility of doing the job right. And that requires a theory about a ‘real person’ with thoughts, emotions, and a ‘will’ of some kind that makes ethical decisions. There is no such theory. The thinking of most scientists floating downstream past the objections of figures like Kant must have been that none of that mattered, and that given the example of Newtonian physics something analogous could work with evolution, and the evolution of ethics. But that has always been a pipe dream. In fact it seems doubtful that a ‘simple’ theory can work with something as ‘complex’ as the human range of mentation, emotion, consciousness. It is somewhat bewildering therefore to see that so many scientists have tried this for so long, have made the delusive perspective normative for standard science, and react in genuine surprise when someone outside this mindset is surprised scientists could be systematic idiots, well-organized, institutionalized, but oblivious as figures of humor by ‘outsiders’.
Needless to say the human psychological frame has an interioriety and the complications of all this in fact make us wonder if science as we know it can succeed at all here. The constructions of AI and the robot field conceivably could make scientists snap out of the reductionist ‘idees fixes’ that seem to betray in public the attempt to chose the simplest possible approach, however nonsensical, and enforce this as science.