Joyce, Richard 1966-
Joyce, Richard 1966-
Born July 9, 1966. Education: University of Auckland, B.A., 1989, M.A. (first-class honors), 1991; Princeton University, M.A., 1995, Ph.D., 1998.
University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, lecturer, 1997-2001; Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Research School of Social Sciences, research fellow, 2002-08; University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, international senior research fellow, associate professor, 2006—; ARC Discovery Project, "The Evolution of the Social Brain: How Emotions and Moral Judgment Interact in the Generation of Cooperative Behavior," team leader, 2007-10.
The Evolution of Morality, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.
Contributor to journals, including Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Phronesis, Philosophical Explorations, Journal of Religious Ethics, Public Affairs Quarterly, Analysis, Journal of Value Inquiry, British Journal of Aesthetics, Mind, Biology and Philosophy, and the Journal of the History of Philosophy; contributor and editor/coeditor of numerous anthologies and reference texts.
Writer and philosopher Richard Joyce was born July 9, 1966. He attended the University of Auckland in New Zealand, earning first his undergraduate degree with a combined major of philosophy and art history, then went on to earn a master's degree in philosophy as well, graduating with first-class honors. Joyce later received a second master's degree in philosophy from Princeton University, followed by a doctorate in that subject from the same institution. His particular areas of research interest focus primarily on metaethics and moral psychology, but he is also more generally interested in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of emotions, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind, as well as applied ethics, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy, particularly its early days. Over the course of his career, he has spent several years on the faculty at the University of Sheffield in England, where he served as a lecturer in philosophy. Since that time he has turned his attentions primarily to research. In 2002, he became a research fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences of the Australian National University in Canberra. Then in 2006, he was awarded an international senior research fellowship at the University of Sydney. As part of his research, he serves as the team leader for an ARC Discovery Project, "The Evolution of the Social Brain: How Emotions and Moral Judgment Interact in the Generation of Cooperative Behavior." He has contributed to various journals, including Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Phronesis, Philosophical Explorations, Journal of Religious Ethics, Public Affairs Quarterly, Analysis, Journal of Value Inquiry, British Journal of Aesthetics, Mind, Biology and Philosophy, and Journal of the History of Philosophy, as well as serving as the editor or coeditor of numerous anthologies and reference texts. Joyce is the author of The Myth of Morality and The Evolution of Morality.
The Myth of Morality is a general analysis of the major issues of metaethics, combining clear language and complex ideas in a way that makes the work equally accessible to newcomers to the topic and to those more well versed in the metaethics debate. Joyce begins by offering readers definitions of the various issues, spelling out what they are and how they fit into the overall debate. He addresses the different ways in which moral stances may be considered, even once the logic behind them is revealed to be faulty. Joyce himself advocates something is referred to as the "error theory," the thesis that moral discourse aims to state truths but systematically fails to secure them. The book goes on from there to offer different perspectives on the comparison between rationality and reason. R. Jay Wallace, in a contribution for the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Web site, wrote: "This book is an impressive and stimulating treatment of central issues in metaethics. It is extremely well-written, combining clarity and precision with an individual style that is engaging and very often witty. It presents a general commentary on the contemporary metaethical debate, on the way to defending a position in that debate—moral factionalism—that is distinctive and worthy of reaching a wider audience."
The Evolution of Morality addresses the question of where morality originates, and whether it truly matters if it is an innate characteristic on some level or one crafted for the purpose of maintaining civil order. Joyce looks at various sources to try to answer these questions, offering readers everything from studies on animal behavior to neurophysiology as evidence of his theories. Peter Singer, in a review for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Web site, commented of Joyce that "in a text that, exclusive of notes and bibliography, runs to only 230 pages, he has managed to pack a remarkable amount of information, clarification, common sense, and thoughtful reflection."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Scientist, June 1, 2007, David Sloan Wilson, "One for All," review of The Evolution of Morality, p. 269.
Australasian Journal of Philosophy, June 1, 2005, Nicholas Agar, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 277; March 1, 2007, Tony Scott, review of The Evolution of Morality, p. 157.
Ethics, October 1, 2003, Sean D. McKeever, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 182; January 1, 2007, Zed Adams, review of The Evolution of Morality, p. 363.
International Philosophical Quarterly, June 1, 2003, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 243.
Journal of Value Inquiry, 2007, Adam Bendorf and Chris Ragg, review of The Evolution of Morality, p. 381.
Metascience, July 1, 2007, Marion Hourdequin, "Should Darwinians be Moral Skeptics?," review of The Evolution of Morality, p. 315.
Mind, October 1, 2004, Hallvard Lillehammer, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 760.
Philosophical Books, October 1, 2003, Joseph Mendola, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 369.
Utilitas, July 1, 2004, Michael Cholbi, review of The Myth of Morality, p. 227.
MIT University Press Web site,http://mitpress.mit.edu/ (July 16, 2008), author profile.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,http://ndpr.nd.edu/ (November 4, 2003), R. Jay Wallace, review of The Myth of Morality; (March 16, 2006), Peter Singer, review of The Evolution of Morality.