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A Natural History of Human Morality

A Natural History of Human Morality Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 9780674915879
Release 2016-01-04
Pages 206
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Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural agent “we”.



A Natural History of Human Morality

A Natural History of Human Morality Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 0674986822
Release 2018-10
Pages 208
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Winner of a PROSE Award, Association of American Publishers Shortlist, Cognitive Development Society Book Award A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year A Natural History of Human Morality offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on extensive experimental data comparing great apes and human children, Michael Tomasello reconstructs how early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species. "Tomasello is convincing, above all, because he has run many of the relevant studies (on chimps, bonobos and children) himself. He concludes by emphasizing the powerful influence of broad cultural groups on modern humans...Tomasello also makes an endearing guide, appearing happily amazed that morality exists at all." --Michael Bond, New Scientist "Most evolutionary theories picture humans as amoral 'monads' motivated by self-interest. Tomasello presents an innovative and well-researched, hypothesized natural history of two key evolutionary steps leading to full-blown morality." --S. A. Mason, Choice



A Natural History of Human Morality

A Natural History of Human Morality Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 0674088646
Release 2016-01-04
Pages 180
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Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural agent we ."



A Natural History of Human Thinking

A Natural History of Human Thinking Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 9780674726369
Release 2014-02-17
Pages 193
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Tool-making or culture, language or religious belief: ever since Darwin, thinkers have struggled to identify what fundamentally differentiates human beings from other animals. Michael Tomasello weaves his twenty years of comparative studies of humans and great apes into a compelling argument that cooperative social interaction is the key to our cognitive uniqueness. Tomasello maintains that our prehuman ancestors, like today's great apes, were social beings who could solve problems by thinking. But they were almost entirely competitive, aiming only at their individual goals. As ecological changes forced them into more cooperative living arrangements, early humans had to coordinate their actions and communicate their thoughts with collaborative partners. Tomasello's "shared intentionality hypothesis" captures how these more socially complex forms of life led to more conceptually complex forms of thinking. In order to survive, humans had to learn to see the world from multiple social perspectives, to draw socially recursive inferences, and to monitor their own thinking via the normative standards of the group. Even language and culture arose from the preexisting need to work together and coordinate thoughts. A Natural History of Human Thinking is the most detailed scientific analysis to date of the connection between human sociality and cognition.



The Origins of Morality

The Origins of Morality Author Dennis Krebs
ISBN-10 9780199778232
Release 2011-08-01
Pages 308
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Why do people behave altruistically in some circumstances, but not in others? In order to account fully for morality, Dennis Krebs departs from the dominant contemporary psychological approach to morality, which suggests that children acquire morals through socialization and cultural indoctrination. Rather, social learning and cognitive-developmental accounts of morality can be subsumed and refined in an evolutionary framework. Relying on evolutionary theory, Krebs explains how notions of morality originated in the first place. He updates Darwin's early ideas about how dispositions to obey authority, to control antisocial urges, and to behave in altruistic and cooperative ways originated and evolved, then goes on to update Darwin's account of how humans acquired a moral sense.



Origins of Human Communication

Origins of Human Communication Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 9780262261203
Release 2010-08-13
Pages 408
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Human communication is grounded in fundamentally cooperative, even shared, intentions. In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the especially cooperative structure of human (as opposed to other primate) social interaction. Tomasello argues that human cooperative communication rests on a psychological infrastructure of shared intentionality (joint attention, common ground), evolved originally for collaboration and culture more generally. The basic motives of the infrastructure are helping and sharing: humans communicate to request help, inform others of things helpfully, and share attitudes as a way of bonding within the cultural group. These cooperative motives each created different functional pressures for conventionalizing grammatical constructions. Requesting help in the immediate you-and-me and here-and-now, for example, required very little grammar, but informing and sharing required increasingly complex grammatical devices. Drawing on empirical research into gestural and vocal communication by great apes and human infants (much of it conducted by his own research team), Tomasello argues further that humans' cooperative communication emerged first in the natural gestures of pointing and pantomiming. Conventional communication, first gestural and then vocal, evolved only after humans already possessed these natural gestures and their shared intentionality infrastructure along with skills of cultural learning for creating and passing along jointly understood communicative conventions. Challenging the Chomskian view that linguistic knowledge is innate, Tomasello proposes instead that the most fundamental aspects of uniquely human communication are biological adaptations for cooperative social interaction in general and that the purely linguistic dimensions of human communication are cultural conventions and constructions created by and passed along within particular cultural groups.



The Evolution of Morality

The Evolution of Morality Author Richard Joyce
ISBN-10 0262263254
Release 2007-08-24
Pages 288
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Moral thinking pervades our practical lives, but where did this way of thinking come from, and what purpose does it serve? Is it to be explained by environmental pressures on our ancestors a million years ago, or is it a cultural invention of more recent origin? In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce takes up these controversial questions, finding that the evidence supports an innate basis to human morality. As a moral philosopher, Joyce is interested in whether any implications follow from this hypothesis. Might the fact that the human brain has been biologically prepared by natural selection to engage in moral judgment serve in some sense to vindicate this way of thinking -- staving off the threat of moral skepticism, or even undergirding some version of moral realism? Or if morality has an adaptive explanation in genetic terms -- if it is, as Joyce writes, "just something that helped our ancestors make more babies" -- might such an explanation actually undermine morality's central role in our lives? He carefully examines both the evolutionary "vindication of morality" and the evolutionary "debunking of morality," considering the skeptical view more seriously than have others who have treated the subject.Interdisciplinary and combining the latest results from the empirical sciences with philosophical discussion, The Evolution of Morality is one of the few books in this area written from the perspective of moral philosophy. Concise and without technical jargon, the arguments are rigorous but accessible to readers from different academic backgrounds. Joyce discusses complex issues in plain language while advocating subtle and sometimes radical views. The Evolution of Morality lays the philosophical foundations for further research into the biological understanding of human morality.



Why We Cooperate

Why We Cooperate Author Michael Tomasello
ISBN-10 9780262258494
Release 2009-08-28
Pages 232
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Drop something in front of a two-year-old, and she's likely to pick it up for you. This is not a learned behavior, psychologist Michael Tomasello argues. Through observations of young children in experiments he himself has designed, Tomasello shows that children are naturally--and uniquely--cooperative. Put through similar experiments, for example, apes demonstrate the ability to work together and share, but choose not to. As children grow, their almost reflexive desire to help--without expectation of reward--becomes shaped by culture. They become more aware of being a member of a group. Groups convey mutual expectations, and thus may either encourage or discourage altruism and collaboration. Either way, cooperation emerges as a distinctly human combination of innate and learned behavior.In Why We Cooperate, Tomasello's studies of young children and great apes help identify the underlying psychological processes that very likely supported humans' earliest forms of complex collaboration and, ultimately, our unique forms of cultural organization, from the evolution of tolerance and trust to the creation of such group-level structures as cultural norms and institutions.Scholars Carol Dweck, Joan Silk, Brian Skyrms, and Elizabeth Spelke respond to Tomasello's findings and explore the implications.



Evolution and Ethics

Evolution and Ethics Author Philip Clayton
ISBN-10 0802826954
Release 2004-08-04
Pages 339
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Certain to engage scholars, students, and general readers alike, Evolution and Ethics offers a balanced, levelheaded, constructive approach to an often divisive debate.



Moral Origins

Moral Origins Author Christopher Boehm
ISBN-10 9780465020485
Release 2012-05-01
Pages 432
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A noted anthropologist explains how our sense of ethics has changed over the course of human evolution. By the author of Hierarchy of the Forest.



Braintrust

Braintrust Author Patricia S. Churchland
ISBN-10 9781400889389
Release 2018-05-22
Pages 288
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What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality. Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider "caring" circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality. A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.



Conversations on Ethics

Conversations on Ethics Author Alex Voorhoeve
ISBN-10 9780199215379
Release 2009-10-22
Pages 259
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Can we trust our intuitive judgments of right and wrong? What reason do we have to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong? Eleven outstanding contemporary thinkers discuss these and other fascinating moral questions in accessible informal conversations.



The Biology of Moral Systems

The Biology of Moral Systems Author Richard Alexander
ISBN-10 9781351329293
Release 2017-09-08
Pages 323
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First Published in 2017. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an Informa company.



Wired for Culture

Wired for Culture Author Mark D. Pagel
ISBN-10 1846140153
Release 2012
Pages 416
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Since humans left Africa less than a hundred thousand years ago there has been a staggering explosion of cultures. What caused this blooming of diversity? Why are there so many mutually incomprehensible languages, even within small territories? Why do we rejoice in rituals, wrap ourselves in flags, or define ourselves in opposition to others? In Wired for Culture Mark Pagel, the world's leading expert on human development, shows how our facility for culture is the key to our success as a species. Humans are usually seen as differing from other animals because of our inherent traits of consciousness, language and intelligence. But Mark Pagel shows we've had it the wrong way round. Many of these things would not exist without our propensity for culture - our ability to co-operate in small tribal societies, enabling us to pass on knowledge, beliefs and practices so that we prospered while others declined. Mark Pagel's extraordinary history of the role of culture in natural selection shows how humans developed a mind that is hardwired for culture - so that it has outstripped our genes in determining who we are, how we think and speak, who we love and kill - and how it equips us for the challenges of life in the modern world. Weaving together evolutionary biology, anthropology, natural history, philosophy and Pagel's years of observing human behaviour around the globe, this extraordinary book sheds light on everything from art, morality and affection to jealousy, self-interest and prejudice. It will change how we view ourselves, not just as individuals, but within the wider story of our species.



Evolved Morality The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience

Evolved Morality  The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience Author Frans de Waal
ISBN-10 9789004263888
Release 2014-02-20
Pages 276
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Morality is often defined in opposition to the natural "instincts," or as a tool to keep those instincts in check. New findings in neuroscience, social psychology, animal behavior, and anthropology have brought us back to the original Darwinian position that moral behavior is continuous with the social behavior of animals, and most likely evolved to enhance the cooperativeness of society. In this view, morality is part of human nature rather than its opposite. This interdisciplinary volume debates the origin and working of human morality within the context of science as well as religion and philosophy.



THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF HUMAN COGNITION

THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF HUMAN COGNITION Author Michael TOMASELLO
ISBN-10 0674044371
Release 2009-07-01
Pages 256
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Bridging the gap between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology, Michael Tomasello argues that the roots of the human capacity for symbol-based culture are based in a cluster of uniquely human cognitive capacities. These include capacities for understanding that others have intentions of their own, and for imitating, not just what someone else does, but what someone else has intended to do. Tomasello further describes with authority and ingenuity how these capacities work over evolutionary and historical time to create the kind of cultural artifacts and settings within which each new generation of children develops.



Darwinian Natural Right

Darwinian Natural Right Author Larry Arnhart
ISBN-10 0791436942
Release 1998-04-02
Pages 332
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This book shows how Darwinian biology supports an Aristotelian view of ethics as rooted in human nature. Defending a conception of “Darwinian natural right” based on the claim that the good is the desirable, the author argues that there are at least twenty natural desires that are universal to all human societies because they are based in human biology. The satisfaction of these natural desires constitutes a universal standard for judging social practice as either fulfilling or frustrating human nature, although prudence is required in judging what is best for particular circumstances. The author studies the familial bonding of parents and children and the conjugal bonding of men and women as illustrating social behavior that conforms to Darwinian natural right. He also studies slavery and psychopathy as illustrating social behavior that contradicts Darwinian natural right. He argues as well that the natural moral sense does not require religious belief, although such belief can sometimes reinforce the dictates of nature.