A Scientific Search for Altruism

Do We Only Care About Ourselves?
Oxford University Press
  • erschienen am 19. Oktober 2018
  • |
  • 232 Seiten
E-Book | PDF mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-19-065138-1 (ISBN)
For centuries, the egoism-altruism debate has echoed through Western thought. Egoism says that the motivation for everything we do, including our seemingly selfless acts of care for others, is to gain one or another self-benefit. Altruism, while not denying the force of self-interest, says that under certain circumstances we can care for others for their sakes, not our own. Over the past half-century, social psychologists have turned to laboratory experiments on humans to provide a scientific resolution of this debate about our nature. The experiments have focused on the possibility that empathic concern-other-oriented emotion elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need-produces altruistic motivation to remove that need. With carefully constructed experimental designs, these scientists have tested the nature of the motivation produced by empathic concern, determining whether it is egoistic or altruistic and, thereby, providing an answer to a fundamental question about what makes us tick. Framed as a detective story, this book traces the scientific search for altruism through numerous studies and attempts to examine various motivational suspects, reaching the improbable conclusion that empathy-induced altruism is indeed part of our nature. The book then considers the implications of this conclusion both for our understanding of who we are as humans (the bad news as well as the good) and for how we might create a more humane society.
  • Englisch
  • Oxford
  • |
  • USA
  • 13,85 MB
978-0-19-065138-1 (9780190651381)
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C. Daniel Batson is an experimental social psychologist. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University in 1972 and taught at the University of Kansas until his retirement in 2008. For over 40 years, his research has focused on prosocial motivation, with particular emphasis on altruistic and moral motivation, and related emotions. He has published well over a hundred research articles and chapters on these topics, as well as two previous books on altruism.
Chapter 1. An Unsettling Surprise Part I. Starting the Search Chapter 2. What We're Looking For Chapter 3. How to Find It Chapter 4. The Prime Suspect Part II. More Suspects Chapter 5. Avoiding Shame and Guilt Chapter 6. Pursuing Pride Chapter 7. One Way to Feel Better Chapter 8. The Pleasure of Empathic Joy Part III. Three New Possibilities Chapter 9. A Gang Chapter 10. Self-Other Merging Chapter 11. Premature Release of the Prime Part IV. Facing the Consequences Chapter 12. How Can It Be? Chapter 13. Some Good News Chapter 14. Some Bad Chapter15. After the Fall Acknowledgements References

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