Search Results for "does-altruism-exist-culture-genes-and-the-welfare-of-others-foundational-questions-in-science"

Does Altruism Exist?

Does Altruism Exist?

Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others

  • Author: David Sloan Wilson
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • ISBN: 0300189494
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 180
  • View: 520
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A powerful treatise that demonstrates the existence of altruism in nature, with surprising implications for human society

Unto Others

Unto Others

The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior

  • Author: Elliott Sober,David Sloan Wilson
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 9780674930476
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 394
  • View: 2776
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In Unto Others philosopher Elliott Sober and biologist David Sloan Wilson demonstrate once and for all that unselfish behavior is in fact an important feature of both biological and human nature. Their book provides a panoramic view of altruism throughout the animal kingdom - from self-sacrificing parasites to insects that subsume themselves in the superorganism of a colony to the human capacity for selflessness - even as it explains the evolutionary sense of such behavior. Sober and Wilson offer a detailed case study of scientific change as well as an indisputable argument for group selection as a legitimate theory in evolutionary biology.

The Altruistic Brain

The Altruistic Brain

How We are Naturally Good

  • Author: Donald W. Pfaff,Sandra Sherman
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0199377464
  • Category: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
  • Page: 295
  • View: 8442
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"Unlike any other study in its field, The Altruistic Brain synthesizes into one theory the most important research into how and why - by purely physical mechanisms - humans empathize with one another and respond altruistically."--Book jacket.

Evolution for Everyone

Evolution for Everyone

How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

  • Author: David Sloan Wilson
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • ISBN: 0440336805
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 400
  • View: 3200
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What is the biological reason for gossip? For laughter? For the creation of art? Why do dogs have curly tails? What can microbes tell us about morality? These and many other questions are tackled by renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. With stories that entertain as much as they inform, Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin of life to the nature of religion. Now everyone can move beyond the sterile debates about creationism and intelligent design to share Darwin’s panoramic view of animal and human life, seamlessly connected to each other. Evolution, as Wilson explains, is not just about dinosaurs and human origins, but about why all species behave as they do—from beetles that devour their own young, to bees that function as a collective brain, to dogs that are smarter in some respects than our closest ape relatives. And basic evolutionary principles are also the foundation for humanity’s capacity for symbolic thought, culture, and morality. In example after example, Wilson sheds new light on Darwin’s grand theory and how it can be applied to daily life. By turns thoughtful, provocative, and daringly funny, Evolution for Everyone addresses some of the deepest philosophical and social issues of this or any age. In helping us come to a deeper understanding of human beings and our place in the world, it might also help us to improve that world. From the Hardcover edition.

Darwin's Cathedral

Darwin's Cathedral

Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society

  • Author: David Sloan Wilson
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 0226901378
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 268
  • View: 1751
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One of the great intellectual battles of modern times is between evolution and religion. Until now, they have been considered completely irreconcilable theories of origin and existence. David Sloan Wilson's Darwin's Cathedral takes the radical step of joining the two, in the process proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations. The key, argues Wilson, is to think of society as an organism, an old idea that has received new life based on recent developments in evolutionary biology. If society is an organism, can we then think of morality and religion as biologically and culturally evolved adaptations that enable human groups to function as single units rather than mere collections of individuals? Wilson brings a variety of evidence to bear on this question, from both the biological and social sciences. From Calvinism in sixteenth-century Geneva to Balinese water temples, from hunter-gatherer societies to urban America, Wilson demonstrates how religions have enabled people to achieve by collective action what they never could do alone. He also includes a chapter considering forgiveness from an evolutionary perspective and concludes by discussing how all social organizations, including science, could benefit by incorporating elements of religion. Religious believers often compare their communities to single organisms and even to insect colonies. Astoundingly, Wilson shows that they might be literally correct. Intended for any educated reader, Darwin's Cathedral will change forever the way we view the relations among evolution, religion, and human society.

Questions in the Psychology of Religion

Questions in the Psychology of Religion

  • Author: Kevin S. Seybold
  • Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • ISBN: 1498238815
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 240
  • View: 9566
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What does it means to be human? What is the origin of religious beliefs? Why are we moral creatures? Are religious experiences different from our everyday experiences? Is my brain involved in my experiencing God? What is a soul and do I have one? Is religion a result of evolutionary processes? How might psychology and religion relate? Religious experiences (behaviors, thoughts, and emotions) are determined, at least in part, by natural physical processes. As a result, the empirical methods used in psychology to try to identify the natural mechanisms that influence why we act, think, and feel the way we do can provide important insights into the fundamental and universal phenomena of religion. Drawing on current research from a variety of disciplines, Questions in the Psychology of Religion is appropriate for college students studying psychology, pastors as they help their congregations understand how religion and science might go together, and anyone who learns about recent discoveries in psychological science and wonders how these findings pertain to religion and religious experiences.

Evolution and Holiness

Evolution and Holiness

Sociobiology, Altruism and the Quest for Wesleyan Perfection

  • Author: Matthew Nelson Hill
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • ISBN: 0830899006
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 9613
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Theology needs to engage what recent developments in the study of evolution mean for how we understand moral behavior. How does the theological concept of holiness connect to contemporary understandings of evolution? If genetic explanations of altruism fall short, what role should we give to environmental explanations and free will? Likewise, how do genetic explanations relate to theological accounts of human goodness and holiness? In this groundbreaking work, Matthew Hill uses the lens of Wesleyan ethics to offer a fresh assessment of the intersection of evolution and theology. He shows that what is at stake in this conversation is not only the future of the church but also the fine-tuning of human evolution.

Handbook of Research on Examining Global Peacemaking in the Digital Age

Handbook of Research on Examining Global Peacemaking in the Digital Age

  • Author: Cook, Bruce L.
  • Publisher: IGI Global
  • ISBN: 1522530339
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 435
  • View: 708
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Violent behavior has become deeply integrated into modern society and it is an unavoidable aspect of human nature. Examining peacemaking strategies through a critical and academic perspective can assist in resolving violence in societies around the world. The Handbook of Research on Examining Global Peacemaking in the Digital Age is a pivotal reference source for the latest research findings on the utilization of peacemaking in media, leadership, and religion. Featuring extensive coverage on relevant areas such as human rights, spirituality, and the Summer of Peace, this publication is an ideal resource for policymakers, universities and colleges, graduate-level students, and organizations seeking current research on the application of conflict resolution and international negotiation.

Pathological Altruism

Pathological Altruism

  • Author: Barbara Oakley
  • Publisher: OUP USA
  • ISBN: 0199738572
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 465
  • View: 6647
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Pathological Altruism is a groundbreaking new book - the first to explore the negative aspects of altruism and empathy, seemingly uniformly positive traits. In fact, pathological altruism, in the form of an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one's own needs, may underpin some personality disorders. Hyperempathy - an excess of concern for what others think and how they feel - helps explain popular but poorly defined concepts such as codependency. The contributing authors of this book provide a scientific, social, and cultural foundation for the subject of pathological altruism, creating a new field of inquiry. Each author's approach points to one disturbing truth: what we value so much, the altruistic "good" side of human nature, can also have a dark side that we ignore at our peril.

The Neighborhood Project

The Neighborhood Project

Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time

  • Author: David Sloan Wilson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • ISBN: 0316175250
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 448
  • View: 713
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After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth. Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own. Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy. With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics, The Neighborhood Project is a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.

The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene

  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 9780192860927
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 352
  • View: 3101
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An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit

Science and the Good

Science and the Good

The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality

  • Author: James Davison Hunter,Paul Nedelisky
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 0300196288
  • Category:
  • Page: 312
  • View: 1268
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Why efforts to create a scientific basis of morality are doomed to fail In this illuminating book, James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky recount the centuries-long, passionate quest to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The "new moral science" led by such figures as E.O. Wilson, Patricia Churchland and Joshua Greene is only the newest manifestation of an effort that has failed repeatedly. Though claims for its accomplishments are often wildly exaggerated, this new iteration has been no more successful than its predecessors. Hunter and Nedelisky argue that in the end, science cannot tell us how we should live or why we should be good and not evil, and this is for both philosophical and scientific reasons. In the face of this failure, the new moral science has taken a surprising turn. Whereas earlier efforts sought to demonstrate what is right and wrong, the new moral scientists have concluded that right and wrong, because they are not amenable to scientific study, don't actually exist. Their (perhaps unwitting) moral nihilism turns the science of morality into a social engineering project. If there is nothing moral for science to discover, the science of morality becomes, at best, a program to achieve arbitrary societal goals. Concise and rigorously argued, Science and the Good is a major critique of a would-be science that has gained too much influence in today's public discourse, and an exposé of that project's darker turn.

The Social Conquest of Earth

The Social Conquest of Earth

  • Author: Edward O. Wilson
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN: 0871403307
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 352
  • View: 5001
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New York Times Bestseller From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career. Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere.

The Blank Slate

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature

  • Author: Steven Pinker
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 9781101200322
  • Category: Psychology
  • Page: 528
  • View: 5648
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A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Extended Phenotype

The Extended Phenotype

The Long Reach of the Gene

  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0198788916
  • Category:
  • Page: 496
  • View: 4981
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In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as theunit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals.So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extendedphenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences.The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort.Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Void

Void

The Strange Physics of Nothing

  • Author: James Owen Weatherall
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • ISBN: 0300209983
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 224
  • View: 403
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The rising star author of "The Physics of Wall Street" explores why nothing may hold the key to the next era of theoretical physics"

A Cooperative Species

A Cooperative Species

Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

  • Author: Samuel Bowles,Herbert Gintis
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9781400838837
  • Category: Business & Economics
  • Page: 280
  • View: 7178
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Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior--show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment. Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

A Darwinian Left

A Darwinian Left

Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

  • Author: Peter Singer
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • ISBN: 0300189990
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 80
  • View: 1764
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In this ground-breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature. He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals. Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and why these reasons are no longer viable. He discusses how twentieth-century thinking has transformed our understanding of Darwinian evolution, showing that it is compatible with cooperation as well as competition, and that the left can draw on this modern understanding to foster cooperation for socially desirable ends. A Darwinian left, says Singer, would still be on the side of the weak, poor, and oppressed, but it would have a better understanding of what social and economic changes would really work to benefit them. It would also work toward a higher moral status for nonhuman animals and a less anthropocentric view of our dominance over nature.

Where Are We Heading?

Where Are We Heading?

The Evolution of Humans and Things

  • Author: Ian Hodder
  • Publisher: Foundational Questions in Scie
  • ISBN: 9780300204094
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 200
  • View: 9761
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A theory of human evolution and history based on ever-increasing mutual dependency between humans and things

The Meme Machine

The Meme Machine

  • Author: Susan Blackmore
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191574619
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 288
  • View: 1298
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Humans are extraordinary creatures, with the unique ability among animals to imitate and so copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs, and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Memes, like genes, are replicators, and this enthralling book is an investigation of whether this link between genes and memes can lead to important discoveries about the nature of the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.