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Moral origins: the evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Basic Books
Pub. Date:
2012
Language:
English
Description
From the age of Darwin to the present day, biologists have been grappling with the origins of our moral sense. Why, if the human instinct to survive and reproduce is "selfish," do people engage in self-sacrifice, and even develop ideas like virtue and shame to justify that altruism? Many theories have been put forth, some emphasizing the role of nepotism, others emphasizing the advantages of reciprocation or group selection effects. But evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm finds existing explanations lacking, and in Moral Origins, he offers an elegant new theory.
Tracing the development of altruism and group social control over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our moral sense is a sophisticated defense mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. One of the biggest risks of group living is the possibility of being punished for our misdeeds by those around us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and especially psychopaths — those who make it difficult for others to go about their lives — are the most likely to suffer this fate. Getting by requires getting along, and this social type of selection, Boehm shows, singles out altruists for survival. This selection pressure has been unique in shaping human nature, and it bred the first stirrings of conscience in the human species. Ultimately, it led to the fully developed sense of virtue and shame that we know today.A groundbreaking exploration of the evolution of human generosity and cooperation, Moral Origins offers profound insight into humanity's moral past — and how it might shape our moral future.
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ISBN:
9780465020485
9780465029198
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID472218e1-5ea8-8045-0eb4-768c8d40cd54
Grouping Titlemoral origins the evolution of virtue altruism and shame
Grouping Authorchristopher boehm
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2024-05-25 02:14:20AM
Last Indexed2024-05-25 02:31:57AM

Solr Fields

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author
Boehm, Christopher
author_display
Boehm, Christopher
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Carmichael
display_description
From the age of Darwin to the present day, biologists have been grappling with the origins of our moral sense. Why, if the human instinct to survive and reproduce is "selfish," do people engage in self-sacrifice, and even develop ideas like virtue and shame to justify that altruism? Many theories have been put forth, some emphasizing the role of nepotism, others emphasizing the advantages of reciprocation or group selection effects. But evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm finds existing explanations lacking, and in Moral Origins, he offers an elegant new theory.
Tracing the development of altruism and group social control over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our moral sense is a sophisticated defense mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. One of the biggest risks of group living is the possibility of being punished for our misdeeds by those around us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and especially psychopaths — those who make it difficult for others to go about their lives — are the most likely to suffer this fate. Getting by requires getting along, and this social type of selection, Boehm shows, singles out altruists for survival. This selection pressure has been unique in shaping human nature, and it bred the first stirrings of conscience in the human species. Ultimately, it led to the fully developed sense of virtue and shame that we know today.A groundbreaking exploration of the evolution of human generosity and cooperation, Moral Origins offers profound insight into humanity's moral past — and how it might shape our moral future.
format_catalog
Book
eBook
format_category_catalog
Books
eBook
id
472218e1-5ea8-8045-0eb4-768c8d40cd54
isbn
9780465020485
9780465029198
itype_catalog
Adult Book Non-Fiction
last_indexed
2024-05-25T09:31:57.263Z
lexile_score
-1
literary_form
Non Fiction
literary_form_full
Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog
155.7 B671 2012
owning_library_catalog
Sacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalog
Carmichael
primary_isbn
9780465020485
publishDate
2012
publisher
Basic Books
recordtype
grouped_work
subject_facet
Altruism
Ethics, Evolutionary
Shame
Virtue
title_display
Moral origins : the evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame
title_full
Moral Origins The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame
Moral origins : the evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame / Christopher Boehm
title_short
Moral origins
title_sub
the evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame
topic_facet
Altruism
Ethics, Evolutionary
Nonfiction
Science
Shame
Virtue

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