By Stephen Garrard Post, Visit Amazon's Lynn G. Underwood Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Lynn G. Underwood, , Jeffrey Schloss, William B. Hurlbut

The concept that of altruism, or disinterested main issue for another's welfare, has been mentioned via everybody from theologians to psychologists to biologists. during this booklet, evolutionary, neurological, developmental, mental, social, cultural, and non secular elements of altruistic habit are tested. it's a collaborative exam of 1 of humanity's crucial and defining features via well known researchers from numerous disciplines. Their integrative discussion illustrates that altruistic habit is an important mode of expression that may be studied via a variety of scholarly tools and understood from numerous views in either the arts and the sciences. Altruism and Altruistic Love establishes a framework for scholarship on altruism by way of providing definitions, a historic evaluate, a evaluate of up to date study, and debates in a number of disciplines, in addition to a dialogue of instructions for destiny paintings.

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Extra resources for Altruism & Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy & Religion in Dialogue

Sample text

If you behave selfishly and the other person behaves altruistically, you receive a benefit, but you don’t pay the cost of producing a donation, so your payoff is (x + b). Finally, if you and the other person both behave altruistically, each of you pays the cost of donation, but each of you also receives a donation from the other person; in this case your payoff is (x − c + b). As mentioned earlier, a dominance argument entails that you should be selfish. The same argument leads the other person to choose the same action.

Altruistic traits evolve because they benefit the group and in spite of the fact that they are deleterious for the individuals that have them. Darwin was a “pluralist” about natural selection; he held that some traits evolve because they are good for the individual, whereas others evolve because they are good for the group. This pluralism became a standard part of the evolutionary biology practiced during the decades in which the Modern Synthesis was created (1930–1960). The idea of group adaptation was often applied uncritically during this period, but the same can be said of the idea of individual adaptation.

When we wish others well, do we ever have this as an end in itself, or do we care about others only because we think that how they do will affect our own welfare? The theory known as psychological egoism maintains that all ultimate motives are self-directed. When Eve wants Adam to have the apple, she has this other-directed desire only because she thinks that his having the apple will provide her with a benefit. Psychological hedonism is one variety of egoistic theory. Hedonism claims that the only ultimate motives that people have are the attainment of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

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