Search results for: does-altruism-exist

Does Altruism Exist

Author : David Sloan Wilson
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David Sloan Wilson, one of the world’s leading evolutionists, addresses a question that has puzzled philosophers, psychologists, and evolutionary biologists for centuries: Does altruism exist naturally among the Earth’s creatures? The key to understanding the existence of altruism, Wilson argues, is by understanding the role it plays in the social organization of groups. Groups that function like organisms indubitably exist, and organisms evolved from groups. Evolutionists largely agree on how functionally organized groups evolve, ending decades of controversy, but the resolution casts altruism in a new light: altruism exists but shouldn’t necessarily occupy center stage in our understanding of social behavior. After laying a general theoretical foundation, Wilson surveys altruism and group-level functional organization in our own species—in religion, in economics, and in the rest of everyday life. He shows that altruism is not categorically good and can have pathological consequences. Finally, he shows how a social theory that goes beyond altruism by focusing on group function can help to improve the human condition in a practical sense. Does Altruism Exist? puts old controversies to rest and will become the center of debate for decades to come.


Author : Paul W.B. Atkins
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A groundbreaking, comprehensive program for designing effective and socially equitable groups of all sizes—from businesses and social justice groups to global organizations. Whether you work in business or schools, volunteer in neighborhoods or church organizations, or are involved in social justice and activism, you understand the enormous power of groups to enact powerful and lasting change in the world. But how exactly do you design, build, and sustain effective groups? Based on the work of Nobel Prize winning economist Elinor Ostrom and grounded in contextual behavioral science, evolutionary science, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Prosocial presents a practical, step-by-step approach to help you energize and strengthen your business or organization. Using the Prosocial model, you’ll learn to design groups that are more harmonious, have better member or employee retention, have better relationships with other groups or business partners, and have more success and longevity. Most importantly, you’ll learn to target the characteristics that foster cooperation and collaboration—key ingredients for any effective group.

This View of Life

Author : David Sloan Wilson
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It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.

Social Psychology

Author : Catherine A. Sanderson
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Psychologists have been searching for a reference that unifies the disparate topics of social psychology around a central theme. Social Psychology follows that approach as it presents the most fundamental concepts in the field. It touches on all of the major concepts researchers are currently addressing but is firmly grounded in the basic social psychological theories and principles. A single chapter is included on the impact of culture in psychology, focusing on how the findings and theories might differ in different cultures. Psychologists will benefit from two research studies in each chapter that provide a real world perspective of the material.

Quicklet on Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene CliffNotes like Book Summary Analysis

Author : Elspeth Michaels
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ABOUT THE BOOK In a 2006 interview with Meet the Author, the year when The Selfish Gene celebrated its 30th anniversary, Richard Dawkins had this to say: “...If I had to write it again, I wouldn’t write it very differently. It has been described as a revolutionary book, in one respect it is. But it’s only a revolutionary way in looking at orthodox Darwinian natural selection. It helps to look at it in this revolutionary way. It could equally well have been called “the Altruistic Animal,” because if you have selfish genes, which only means that natural selection works at the level of the gene; if you have selfish genes, then you may have altruistic individuals. And that’s what the book is about.” What Dawkins describes as “revolutionary,” others have construed as controversial. When The Selfish Gene was first published in 1976, it created a number of waves within the study evolutionary biology, largely dominated by Darwinian doctrine. (One could say it made a splash in the gene pool.) If Darwin’s idea of natural selection was based on the concept of “survival of the fittest,” then why does altruism exist between individuals? Why aren’t all living things selfish in a cut-throat battle for survival? Dawkins strove to explain altruism in The Selfish Gene, with the argument that altruistic behavior can be explained through the selfishness of our genes. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK If it runs away, chase it! If it comes at you, fight back.) In a relationship such as prey versus predator, Dawkins explains possible strategies. A retaliator doesn’t attack aggressively, but will act in a threatening manner. If the opponent attacks first, the retaliator will, as you guessed, retaliate. Retaliators behave based upon their opponent’s behavior, making them conditional strategists. In addition to retaliators, there are two other kinds of conditional strategies: bullies and prober-retaliators. A bully attacks until an opponent strikes back, in which case, the bully immediately retreats. Prober-retaliators are essentially retaliators, but can initiate an attack like a bully, and if the opponent fights back, will defend itself. In these strategies, the retaliator is an ESS, the prober-retaliator is nearly stable, and the bully is not stable. Chapter 6: Genemanship The key point of this chapter is that genes might be able to assist replicas of itself that are sitting in other bodies. If so, this would appear as individual altruism but it would be brought about by gene selfishness. (88) In the previous chapter, Dawkins explained aggression through individual, independent selfish machines. However, individuals have relatives, in the form of siblings, cousins, parents, etc., all of whom share many of the same genes. Each selfish gene then, has its loyalties divided among different individuals; the selfish gene is every replica of itself. Dawkins explains how a gene selected for kin-altruism, could survive in the gene pool. A gene that suicidally saves five cousins would not be numerous in a population of individuals, however, if it saved five brothers or ten first cousins would. The minimum requirement for a suicidal altruistic gene to be a successful one in the gene pool would have to “save more than two siblings/children/parents, more than four half-siblings/uncles/aunts/nephews/nieces/grandparents/grandchildren, or more than eight first cousins, etc.”

The Altruistic Species

Author : Andrew Michael Flescher
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What motivates altruism? How essential is the phenomenon of altruism to the human experience? Is altruism readily accessible to the ordinary person? In The Altruistic Species, Andrew Michael Flescher and Daniel L. Worthen explore these questions through the lenses of four disciplinary perspectives—biology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. In the course of their investigation, they make an extended argument for the existence of altruism against competing theories that construe all ostensible cases of benevolence as self-interest in disguise. The authors consider theories of egoism; the role of genetics and evolutionary biology; the psychological that induce altruistic behavior; philosophical theories of altruism in normative ethics such as Kantian, utilitarian, and Aristotelian models of moral action; and accounts of love of the neighbor in Christianity and Buddhism. Additionally, they offer a new, comprehensive definition of altruism that is inclusive of the insights of each of these perspectives. The Altruistic Species reinvigorates the debate over the prevalence of selfless motivation in human behavior—whether it is a rare or ubiquitous phenomenon, something that is always to be considered exceptional or a capacity that members of any community potentially could develop. This noteworthy interdisciplinary examination of altruism balances science, virtue theory, and theology. It is ideal courses in ethics, human behavior, and evolutionary biology, as an educational resource for other multidisciplinary studies, and for interested lay readers.

Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science

Author : David Sloan Wilson
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What do evolutionary science and contextual behavioral science have in common? Edited by David Sloan Wilson and Steven C. Hayes, this groundbreaking book offers a glimpse into the histories of these two schools of thought, and provides a sound rationale for their reintegration. Evolutionary science (ES) provides a unifying theoretical framework for the biological sciences, and is increasingly being applied to the human-related sciences. Meanwhile, contextual behavioral science (CBS) seeks to understand the history and function of human behavior in the context of everyday life where behaviors occur, and to influence behavior in a practical sense. This volume seeks to integrate these two bodies of knowledge that have developed largely independently. In Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science, two renowned experts in their fields argue why ES and CBS are intrinsically linked, as well as why their reintegration—or, reunification—is essential. The main purpose of this book is to continue to move CBS under the umbrella of ES, and to help evolutionary scientists understand how working alongside contextual behavioral scientists can foster both the development of ES principles and their application to practical situations. Rather than the sequential relationship that is typically imagined between these two schools of thought, this volume envisions a parallel relationship between ES and CBS, where science can best influence positive change in the real world.

Cost benefit Analysis

Author : Anthony E. Boardman
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Written as an introduction to cost-benefit analysis for undergraduate economics majors. Also, can be used in specific graduate professional programs in public policy, business, public administration, etc. Numerous up-to-date illustrations and examples show students how theories and techniques are applied to real-world situations. Provides a practical orientation and introduction to cost-benefit analysis through problem solving.

Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science

Author : David Sloan Wilson
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Contextual behavioral science seeks to understand the behavior of individuals and groups in the context of their environments. Meanwhile, evolutionary science examines the effects that environmental selection pressures and heritable variation have on all species. In Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science, two renowned experts in these two fields argue why these schools of thought are intrinsically linked, as well as why their reintegration--or, reunification--is essential.

Handbook of the Economics of Giving Altruism and Reciprocity Applications

Author : Serge-Christophe Kolm
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Provides a comprehensive set of reviews of literature on the economics of nonmarket voluntary transfers.

Working Paper

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Working Papers

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Islamic Psychology

Author : G. Hussein Rassool
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Islamic Psychology or ilm an-nafs (science of the soul) is an important introductory textbook drawing on the latest evidence in the sub-disciplines of psychology to provide a balanced and comprehensive view of human nature, behaviour and experience. Its foundation to develop theories about human nature is based upon the writings of the Qur'an, Sunna, Muslim scholars and contemporary research findings. Synthesising contemporary empirical psychology and Islamic psychology, this book is holistic in both nature and process and includes the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of human behaviour and experience. Through a broad and comprehensive scope, the book addresses three main areas: Context, perspectives and the clinical applications of applied psychology from an Islamic approach. This book is a core text on Islamic psychology for undergraduate and postgraduate students and those undertaking continuing professional development in Islamic psychology, psychotherapy and counselling. Beyond this, it is also a good supporting resource for teachers and lecturers in this field.

Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences

Author : David Sander
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Few areas have witnessed the type of growth we have seen in the affective sciences in the past decades. Across psychology, philosophy, economics, and neuroscience, there has been an explosion of interest in the topic of emotion and affect. Comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date, and easy-to-use, the new Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences is an indispensable resource for all who wish to find out about theories, concepts, methods, and research findings in this rapidly growing interdisciplinary field - one that brings together, amongst others, psychologists, neuroscientists, social scientists, philosophers, and historians. Organized by alphabetical entries, and presenting brief definitions, concise overviews, and encyclopaedic articles (all with extensive references to relevant publications), this Companion lends itself to casual browsing by non-specialists interested in the fascinating phenomena of emotions, moods, affect disorders, and personality as well as to focused search for pertinent information by students and established scholars in the field. Not only does the book provide entries on affective phenomena, but also on their neural underpinnings, their cognitive antecedents and the associated responses in physiological systems, facial, vocal, and bodily expressions, and action tendencies. Numerous entries also consider the role of emotion in society and social behavior, as well as in cognitive processes such as those critical for perception, attention, memory, judgement and decision-making. The volume has been edited by a group of internationally leading authorities in the respective disciplines consisting of two editors (David Sander and Klaus Scherer) as well as group of 11 associate editors (John T. Cacioppo, Tim Dalgleish, Robert Dantzer, Richard J. Davidson, Ronald B. de Sousa, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Nico Frijda, George Loewenstein, Paula M. Niedenthal, Peter Salovey, and Richard A. Shweder). The members of the editorial board have commissioned and reviewed contributions from major experts on specific topics. In addition to comprehensive coverage of technical terms and fundamental issues, the volume also highlights current debates that inform the ongoing research process. In addition, the Companion contains a wealth of material on the role of emotion in applied domains such as economic behaviour, music and arts, work and organizational behaviour, family interactions and group dynamics, religion, law and justice, and societal change. Highly accessible and wide-ranging, this book is a vital resource for scientists, students, and professionals eager to obtain a rapid, conclusive overview on central terms and topics and anyone wanting to learn more about the mechanisms underlying the emotions dominating many aspects of our lives.

Jane Austen and Altruism

Author : Magdalen Ki
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Jane Austen and Altruism identifies a compelling theme, namely, the view that Jane Austen propounds a rigorous, boundary-sensitive model of altruism that counters the human propensity to selfishness and promotes the culture of cooperation. In her days, altruism was commonly known as "benevolence", "charity," or "philanthropy", and these concepts overlap with Auguste Comte’s later definition of altruism as "otherism". This volume argues that Austen’s thinking co-opts the evolutionary idea that altruism is seldom truly pure, egoism cannot be eradicated, and boundless group altruism is not sustainable. However, given that she comes from a naval and clergy family, she witnesses the power of wartime patriotism, the Evangelical revival, the Regency culture of politeness, and the sentimental novels. In her novels, she locates human relationships along an altruism continuum that ranges from enlightened selfishness to pathological altruism. Unconditional love is hard to find, but empathy, kin altruism, reciprocal exchange, and group altruism are key to the formation of self-identity, family, community and the nation state.

Evolutionary Analysis

Author : Jon C. Herron
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By presenting evolutionary biology as an ongoing research effort, this best-seller aims to help readers think like scientists. The authors convey the excitement and logic of evolutionary science by introducing principles through recent and classical studies, and by emphasizing real-world applications. Features a new chapter on Phylogenomics and the Molecular Basis of Adaptation (Ch. 15). Offers an earlier presentation of Reconstructing Evolutionary Trees, reflecting the growing importance of this topic in the field. Includes the latest research and examples, giving students access to the most current developments in the field. Includes full-color photographs, diagrams and data-graphics throughout, developed by the author.

Positive Nations and Communities

Author : Helena Águeda Marujo
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This book approaches the field of positive psychology from a post-modern perspective. It explores the consequences of combining current trends and models with supplementary participatory and transformative methods. The book brings a more collective, qualitative, culturally sensitive and transformative approach to the processes of making sense and implementing the science of positive psychology. It moves beyond the individual level towards a “knowledge community” and “knowledge of the communities”. The book is an invitation to more participatory and polyphonic dialogues in the field of positive psychology.

SUMMARY The Selfish Gene By Richard Dawkins

Author : Shortcut Edition
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* Our summary is short, simple and pragmatic. It allows you to have the essential ideas of a big book in less than 30 minutes. As you read this summary, you will discover that in nature, altruism does not exist. All living species are genetically selfish. You will also discover : that your genes have created you for their own survival; that your children will be naturally selfish, but that you have the means to change that through culture; that in terms of reproduction, the male is less involved than the female; that since the appearance of modern man, genetic evolution is no longer the only type of evolution in the world. The selfish gene theory is another facet of Darwin's theory. Rather than focusing on the individual organism, it takes the point of view of genetics. Your genes survived in a world where competition was raging, so the predominant quality in a gene that thrived is certainly ruthless selfishness. A selfishness that inevitably affects individual behavior. But by understanding what your genes are tending towards - selfishness - you may have a chance to counteract them and achieve what no other species has ever achieved: becoming an altruistic individual. Are you ready to regain control of your identity? *Buy now the summary of this book for the modest price of a cup of coffee!

Determinants of Animal Behaviour

Author : Jo Anne Cartwright
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A concise introduction to psychological theories which attempt to explain non-human animal behaviour. Theories covered include evolutionary explanations, classical and operant conditioning and social learning.

The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology

Author : Shane J. Lopez
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This book is the definitive text in the field of positive psychology, the scientific study of what makes people happy. The handbook's international slate of renowned authors summarizes and synthesizes lifetimes of research, together illustrating what has worked for people across time and cultures. Now in paperback, this second edition provides both the current literature in the field and an outlook on its future.