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The Moral Animal

Pantheon Books (1994)

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  1. What Develops in Moral Development? A Model of Moral Sensibility.Stephen A. Sherblom - 2012 - Journal of Moral Education 41 (1):117-142.
    The field of moral psychology would benefit from an integrative model of what develops in moral development, contextualized within the larger scope of social science research. Moral sensibility is proposed as the best concept to embody stated aims, but the content of this concept must be more finely articulated and conceptualized as a dynamic system. Moral sensibility is defined here as a developing dynamic interaction of (1) a host of developing capacities for morally relevant knowing (e.g. moral reasoning, self-awareness and (...)
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  • Molinist Gunslingers Redux: A Friendly Response to Greg Welty.Kenneth D. Keathley - 2018 - Perichoresis 16 (2):31-44.
    Philosopher Greg Welty contributed a chapter entitled ‘Molinist Gunslingers: God and the Authorship of Sin’, to a book devoted to answering the charge that Calvinism makes God the author of sin. Welty argues that Molinism has the same problems as Calvinism concerning God’s relationship to sin, regardless of what view of human freedom Molinism may affirm. The Molinist believes that God generally uses his knowledge of the possible choices of libertarianly free creatures in order to accomplish his will. But affirming (...)
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  • The Intelligence of the Moral Intuitions: A Comment on Haidt.David A. Pizarro & Paul Bloom - 2003 - Psychological Review 110 (1):193-196.
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  • The Robustness of Altruism as an Evolutionary Strategy.Scott Woodcock & Joseph Heath - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):567-590.
    Kin selection, reciprocity and group selection are widely regarded as evolutionary mechanisms capable of sustaining altruism among humans andother cooperative species. Our research indicates, however, that these mechanisms are only particular examples of a broader set of evolutionary possibilities.In this paper we present the results of a series of simple replicator simulations, run on variations of the 2–player prisoner's dilemma, designed to illustrate the wide range of scenarios under which altruism proves to be robust under evolutionary pressures. The set of (...)
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  • Massive Modularity : An Ontological Hypothesis or an Adaptationist Discovery Heuristic?Joseph David de Jesús Villena Saldaña - 2021 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    Cognitive modules are internal mental structures. Some theorists and empirical researchers hypothesize that the human mind is either partially or massively comprised of structures that are modular in nature. Modules are also invoked to explain cognitive capacities associated with the performance of specific functional tasks. Jerry Fodor considered that modules are useful only for explaining relatively low-level systems. These are the systems involved in capacities like perception and language. For Fodor, the central systems of mind — those involved in capacities (...)
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  • Morality and Evolutionary Biology.William Fitzpatrick - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Reform for the Evolutionary Social Sciences or New Theory of Human Nature?: Gillian Barker: Beyond Biofatalism: Human Nature for an Evolving World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015, 176pp, $35.00 HB. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):479-485.
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  • An "Opting in" Paradigm for Kidney Transplantation.David Steinberg - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (4):4 – 14.
    Almost 60,000 people in the United States with end stage renal disease are waiting for a kidney transplant. Because of the scarcity of organs from deceased donors live kidney donors have become a critical source of organs; in 2001, for the first time in recent decades, the number of live kidney donors exceeded the number of deceased donors. The paradigm used to justify putting live kidney donors at risk includes the low risk to the donor, the favorable risk-benefit ratio, the (...)
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  • A Liberal Realist Answer to Debunking Skeptics: The Empirical Case for Realism.Michael Huemer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1983-2010.
    Debunking skeptics claim that our moral beliefs are formed by processes unsuited to identifying objective facts, such as emotions inculcated by our genes and culture; therefore, they say, even if there are objective moral facts, we probably don’t know them. I argue that the debunking skeptics cannot explain the pervasive trend toward liberalization of values over human history, and that the best explanation is the realist’s: humanity is becoming increasingly liberal because liberalism is the objectively correct moral stance.
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  • What About the Increasing Adaptive Value of Manipulative Language Use?David Kemmerer - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (3):546-548.
    Dunbar (1993) emphasizes the role of cooperative language use in the evolution of human linguistic capacity and neglects to consider the role that manipulative language use would have played. I argue that as group size and neocortieal size increased during human evolution, the adaptive value of using language to benefit oneself at the expense of others would also have increased. I discuss how selection pressures for manipulative language use would have operated in the contexts of mating, status striving, and social (...)
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  • Unsolvable Problems, Visual Imagery, and Explanatory Satisfaction.Marc F. Krellenstein - 1995 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 16 (3):235-54.
    It has been suggested that certain problems may be unsolvable because of the mind's cognitive structure, but we may wonder what problems, and exactly why. The ultimate origin of the universe and the mind-body problem seem to be two such problems. As to why, Colin McGinn has argued that the mind-body problem is unsolvable because any theoretical concepts about the brain will be observation-based and unable to connect to unobservable subjective experience. McGinn's argument suggests a requirement of imagability -- an (...)
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  • The Other Side of the Coin: A Narrative Inquiry Into the Positive Consequences of Infidelity Among Young Adults.Lucia Hargašová, Nikola Kallová & Denisa Hnatkovičová - 2022 - Human Affairs 32 (2):282-295.
    There is certainly no shortage of studies describing the unwanted effects of infidelity in the relevant literature. By contrast, this paper examines the previously unexplored face of infidelity – namely, the subjectively perceived positive effects. One hundred and four participants from Slovakia in emerging and/or young adulthood shared their relationship history through semi-structured interviews. Sixty-nine of these were self-moderated in written form. The same topics were covered in the two types of interview. Using a categorical-content analysis method, four categories were (...)
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  • On the Social Dimensions of Moral Psychology.John D. GreenwooD - 2011 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (4):333-364.
    Contemporary moral psychology has been enormously enriched by recent theoretical developments and empirical findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and social psychology and psychopathology. Yet despite the fact that some theorists have developed specifically “social heuristic” (Gigerenzer, 2008) and “social intuitionist” (Haidt, 2007) theories of moral judgment and behavior, and despite regular appeals to the findings of experimental social psychology, contemporary moral psychology has largely neglected the social dimensions of moral judgment and behavior. I provide a brief sketch (...)
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  • Evolution, Genes, and Behavior.Ian Tattersall - 2001 - Zygon 36 (4):657-666.
  • New Directions in Legal Scholarship: Implications for Business Ethics Research, Theory, and Practice.John Hasnas, Robert Prentice & Alan Strudler - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (3):503-531.
    Legal scholars and business ethicists are interested in many of the same core issues regarding human and firm behavior. The vast amount of legal research being generated by nearly 10,000 law school and business law scholars will inevitably influence business ethics research. This paper describes some of the recent trends in legal scholarship and explores its implications for three significant aspects of business ethics research—methodology, theory, and policy.
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  • Social Capital and the Human Psyche: Why is Social Life “Capital”?Joanne Savage & Satoshi Kanazawa - 2004 - Sociological Theory 22 (3):504-524.
    In this article, we propose a revised definition of social capital, premised on the principles of evolutionary psychology. We define social capital as any feature of a social relationship that, directly or indirectly, confers reproductive benefits to a participant in that relationship. This definition grounds the construct of social capital in human nature by providing a basis for inferring the underlying motivations that humans may have in common, rather than leaving the matter of what humans use capital for unspoken. Discussions (...)
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  • Saintly Sacrifice: The Traditional Transmission of Moral Elevation.Craig T. Palmer, Ryan O. Begley & Kathryn Coe - 2013 - Zygon 48 (1):107-127.
    This paper combines the social psychology concept of moral elevation with the evolutionary concept of traditions as descendant-leaving strategies to produce a new explanation of the role of saints in Christianity. Moral elevation refers to the ability of prosocial acts to inspire people to engage in their own acts of charity and kindness. When morally elevating stories and visual depictions become traditional by being passed from one generation to the next, they can produce prosocial behavior advantageous to survival and reproduction (...)
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  • Cognitive and Evolutionary Factors in the Emergence of Human Altruism.James A. Van Slyke - 2010 - Zygon 45 (4):841-859.
    One of the central tenets of Christian theology is the denial of self for the benefit of another. However, many views on the evolution of altruism presume that natural selection inevitably leads to a self-seeking human nature and that altruism is merely a façade to cover underlying selfish motives. I argue that human altruism is an emergent characteristic that cannot be reduced to any one particular evolutionary explanation. The evolutionary processes at work in the formation of human nature are not (...)
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  • The Grain of Domains: The Evolutionary-Psychological Case Against Domain-General Cognition.Anthony P. Atkinson & Michael Wheeler - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):147-76.
    Prominent evolutionary psychologists have argued that our innate psychological endowment consists of numerous domainspecific cognitive resources, rather than a few domaingeneral ones. In the light of some conceptual clarification, we examine the central inprinciple arguments that evolutionary psychologists mount against domaingeneral cognition. We conclude (a) that the fundamental logic of Darwinism, as advanced within evolutionary psychology, does not entail that the innate mind consists exclusively, or even massively, of domainspecific features, and (b) that a mixed innate cognitive economy of domainspecific (...)
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  • Abundant Nature's Long-Term Openness to Humane Biocultural Designs.Robert B. Glassman - 2009 - Zygon 44 (2):355-388.
    Not by Genes Alone excellently explains Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd's important ideas about human gene-culture co-evolution to a broader audience but remains short of a larger vision of civilization. Several decades ago Ralph Burhoe had seen that fertile possibility in Richerson and Boyd's work. I suggest getting past present reductionistic customs to a scientific perspective having an integral place for virtue. Subsystem agency is part of this view, as is the driving role of abundance, whose ultimate origins are (...)
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  • The Descent of Shame.Heidi L. Maibom - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):566 - 594.
    Shame is a painful emotion concerned with failure to live up to certain standards, norms, or ideals. The subject feels that she falls in the regard of others; she feels watched and exposed. As a result, she feels bad about the person that she is. The most popular view of shame is that someone only feels ashamed if she fails to live up to standards, norms, or ideals that she, herself, accepts. In this paper, I provide support for a different (...)
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  • Looking Into the Shadow: The Eugenics Argument in Debates on Reproductive Technologies and Practices.Giulia Cavaliere - 2018 - Monash Bioethics Review 36 (1-4):1-22.
    Eugenics is often referred to in debates on the ethics of reproductive technologies and practices, in relation to the creation of moral boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable technologies, and acceptable and unacceptable uses of these technologies. Historians have argued that twentieth century eugenics cannot be reduced to a uniform set of practices, and that no simple lessons can be drawn from this complex history. Some authors stress the similarities between past eugenics and present reproductive technologies and practices (what I define (...)
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  • Runaway Social Selection for Displays of Partner Value and Altruism.Randolph M. Nesse - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):143-155.
    Runaway social selection resulting from partner choice may have shaped aspects of human cooperation and complex sociality that are otherwise hard to account for. Social selection is the subtype of natural selection that results from the social behaviors of other individuals. Competition to be chosen as a social partner can, like competition to be chosen as a mate, result in runaway selection that shapes extreme traits. People prefer partners who display valuable resources and bestow them selectively on close partners. The (...)
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  • The evolution of morality and its rollback.Brian Garvey - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (2):26.
    According to most Evolutionary Psychologists, human moral attitudes are rooted in cognitive modules that evolved in the Stone Age to solve problems of social interaction. A crucial component of their view is that such cognitive modules remain unchanged since the Stone Age, and I question that here. I appeal to evolutionary rollback, the phenomenon where an organ becomes non-functional and eventually atrophies or disappears—e.g. cave-dwelling fish losing their eyes. I argue that even if cognitive modules evolved in the Stone Age (...)
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  • Normative Self-Interest or Moral Hypocrisy?: The Importance of Context. [REVIEW]George W. Watson & Farooq Sheikh - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 77 (3):259 - 269.
    We re-examine the construct of Moral Hypocrisy from the perspective of normative self-interest. Arguing that some degree of self-interest is culturally acceptable and indeed expected, we postulate that a pattern of behavior is more indicative of moral hypocrisy than a single action. Contrary to previous findings, our results indicate that a significant majority of subjects (N = 136) exhibited fair behavior, and that ideals of caring and fairness, when measured in context of the scenario, were predictive of those behaviors. Moreover, (...)
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  • Double Standards for Sexual Jealousy.Luci Paul, Mark A. Foss & Mary Ann Baenninger - 1996 - Human Nature 7 (3):291-321.
    This work tests two conflicting views about double standards: whether they reflect evolved sex differences in behavior or a manipulative morality serving male interests. Two questionnaires on jealous reactions to mild (flirting) and serious (cheating) sexual transgressions were randomly assigned to 172 young women and men. One questionnaire assessed standards for appropriate behavior and perceptions of how young women and men usually react. The second asked people to report how they had reacted or, if naive, how they would react. The (...)
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  • Just so Stories and Inference to the Best Explanation in Evolutionary Psychology.Harmon R. Holcomb Iii - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (4):525-540.
    Evolutionary psychology is a science in the making, working toward the goal of showing how psychological adaptation underlies much human behavior. The knee-jerk reaction that sociobiology is unscientific because it tells “just-so stories” has become a common charge against evolutionary psychology as well. My main positive thesis is that inference to the best explanation is a proper method for evolutionary analyses, and it supplies a new perspective on the issues raised in Schlinger's (1996) just-so story critique. My main negative thesis (...)
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  • Review: Sociobiology: Twenty-Five Years Later. [REVIEW]Michael Yudell & Rob Desalle - 2000 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577 - 584.
  • Raising Darwin’s Consciousness.Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - 1997 - Human Nature 8 (1):1-49.
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  • Debunking Morality: Evolutionary Naturalism and Moral Error Theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):567-581.
    The paper distinguishes three strategies by means of which empirical discoveries about the nature of morality can be used to undermine moral judgements. On the first strategy, moral judgements are shown to be unjustified in virtue of being shown to rest on ignorance or false belief. On the second strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false by being shown to entail claims inconsistent with the relevant empirical discoveries. On the third strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false in (...)
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  • The Unified Theory of Repression.Matthew Hugh Erdelyi - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):499-511.
    Repression has become an empirical fact that is at once obvious and problematic. Fragmented clinical and laboratory traditions and disputed terminology have resulted in a Babel of misunderstandings in which false distinctions are imposed (e.g., between repression and suppression) and necessary distinctions not drawn (e.g., between the mechanism and the use to which it is put, defense being just one). “Repression” was introduced by Herbart to designate the (nondefensive) inhibition of ideas by other ideas in their struggle for consciousness. Freud (...)
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  • Immunity in Context.Alfred I. Tauber - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (2):207-224.
    According to immunology’s prevailing paradigm, immunity is based on self/nonself discrimination and thus requires a construction of identity. Two orientations vie for dominance: The original conception, conceived in the context of infectious diseases, regards the organism as insular and autonomous, an entity that requires defense of its borders. An alternate view places the organism firmly in its environment in which both benign and onerous encounters occur. On this latter relational account, active tolerance allows for cooperative relationships with other organisms in (...)
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  • Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen M. Downes - 2017 - In Lee McIntyre & Alex Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 330-339.
  • The Origins and Effects of Filial Piety : How Culture Solves an Evolutionary Problem for Parents.Ryan Nichols - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (3-4):201-230.
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  • Learning That There is Life After Death.L. Harris Paul & Astuti Rita - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):475-476.
    Bering's argument that human beings are endowed with a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of psychological immortality relies on the claim that children's beliefs in the afterlife are not the result of religious teaching. We suggest four reasons why this claim is unsatisfactory.
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  • The Importance of Poetry, Hip-Hop, and Philosophy for an Enlisted Aviator in the USAF (2000-2004) Flying in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Journal of Poetry Therapy 28:73-97.
    This special issue of Journal of Poetry Therapy focuses on the use of poetry and other forms of expressive writing to explore the transformative experiences of military veterans, and so in this article I discuss how the use of poetry, hip-hop, and philosophy positively influenced my life while I was serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) from 2000 through 2004. This article briefly reviews my reasons for enlisting and discusses the importance that poetry, hip-hop, and philosophy had for (...)
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  • Evolution and Neuroethics in the Hyperion Cantos.Brendan Shea - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (3).
    In this article, I use science-fiction scenarios drawn from Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion Cantos” (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, The Rise of Endymion) to explore a cluster of issues related to the evolutionary history and neural bases of human moral cognition, and the moral desirability of improving our ability to make moral decisions by techniques of neuroengineering. I begin by sketching a picture of what recent research can teach us about the character of human moral psychology, with a particular emphasis (...)
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  • Methods of Ethics and the Descent of Man: Darwin and Sidgwick on Ethics and Evolution.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):361-378.
    Darwin’s treatment of morality in The Descent of Man has generated a wide variety of responses among moral philosophers. Among these is the dismissal of evolution as irrelevant to ethics by Darwin’s contemporary Henry Sidgwick; the last, and arguably the greatest, of the Nineteenth Century British Utilitarians. This paper offers a re-examination of Sidgwick’s response to evolutionary considerations as irrelevant to ethics and the absence of any engagement with Darwin’s work in Sidgwick’s main ethical treatise, The Methods of Ethics . (...)
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  • Scientific Imperialism and Explanatory Appeals to Evolution in the Social Sciences.Stephen M. Downes - 2018 - In Uskali Mäki, Adrian Walsh & Manuela Fernández Pinto (eds.), Scientific Imperialism: Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity. New York, NY, USA: pp. 224-236.
  • La Realidad de Las Dos Culturas Como Base Del Mito Del Relativismo Cultural: Un Enfoque Bioantropológico.Carlos Castrodeza - 2000 - Endoxa 1 (12-2):525.
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  • What Have We Learned From Evolutionary Psychology?Marc F. Krellenstein - manuscript
    Evolutionary psychology claims biological inclinations for certain behaviors (e.g., a desire for more frequent sex and more sexual partners by males as compared to females), and the origin of these inclinations in natural selection. Jerry Fodor’s recent book, The Mind Doesn’t Work that Way (2000), grants the nativist case for such biological grounding but disputes the presumed certainty of its origin in natural selection. Nevertheless, there is today a consensus that at least some of the claims of evolutionary psychology are (...)
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  • The Darwinian Cage.Richard Hamilton - 2008 - Theory, Culture and Society 25 (2):105-125.
    The jargon of evolutionary psychology has recently migrated from a few minor American universities into the academic mainstream and thence into Sunday supplements and dinner party conversations. It has even formed the backdrop to at least one award-winning novel (McEwan, 1997). Evolutionary psychology and other similar ‘biological’ explanations of human conduct pervade the Zeitgeist and, as Kenan Malik has persuasively argued, they tap into a prevailing mood of cultural pessimism. Evolutionary psychology, it seems, speaks to our desire to see the (...)
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  • Is Neuroscience Relevant to Our Moral Responsibility Practices?Joseph Vukov - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 2 (2):61-82.
    Some psychologists and philosophers have argued that neuroscience is importantly relevant to our moral responsibility practices, especially to our practices of praise and blame. For consider: on an unprecedented scale, contemporary neuroscience presents us with a mechanistic account of human action. Furthermore, in uential studies – most notoriously, Libet et al. (1983) – seem to show that the brain decides to do things (so to speak) before we consciously make a decision. In light of these ndings, then – or so (...)
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  • Mobile Phones as Lekking Devices Among Human Males.J. E. Lycett & R. I. M. Dunbar - 2000 - Human Nature 11 (1):93-104.
    This study investigated the use of mobile telephones by males and females in a public bar frequented by professional people. We found that, unlike women, men who possess mobile telephones more often publicly display them, and that these displays were related to the number of men in a social group, but not the number of women. This result was not due simply to a greater number of males who have telephones: we found an increase with male social group size in (...)
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  • The Descent of Shame1.Heidi L. Maibom - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):566-594.
    Shame is a painful emotion concerned with failure to live up to certain standards, norms, or ideals. The subject feels that she falls in the regard of others; she feels watched and exposed. As a result, she feels bad about the person that she is. The most popular view of shame is that someone only feels ashamed if she fails to live up to standards, norms, or ideals that she, herself, accepts. In this paper, I provide support for a different (...)
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  • Naturalising Ethics: The Implications of Darwinism for the Study of Moral Philosophy. [REVIEW]John Cartwright - 2010 - Science & Education 19 (4-5):407-443.
    The nature of moral values has occupied philosophers and educationalists for centuries and a variety of claims have been made about their origin and status. One tradition suggests they may be thoughts in the mind of God; another that they are eternal truths to be reached by rational reflection (much like the truths of mathematics) or alternatively through intuition; another that they are social conventions; and another (from the logical positivists) that they are not verifiable facts but simply the expression (...)
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  • Integrating the Multiple Biological Causes of Human Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):177-190.
    I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of human behavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
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  • Altruism, Righteousness, and Myopia.T. Clark Durant & Michael Weintraub - 2011 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 23 (3):257-302.
    ABSTRACT Twenty years ago Leif Lewin made the case that altruistic motives are more common than selfish motives among voters, politicians, and bureaucrats. We propose that motives and beliefs emerge as reactions to immediate feedback from technical-causal, material-economic, and moral-social aspects of the political task environment. In the absence of certain kinds of technical-causal and material-economic feedback, moral-social feedback leads individuals to the altruism Lewin documents, but also to righteousness (moralized regard for the in-group and disregard for the out-group) and (...)
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  • Rethinking Visual Ethics: Evolution, Social Comparison and the Media's Mono-Body in the Global Rise of Eating Disorders.Shiela Reaves - 2011 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 26 (2):114 - 134.
    This study applies evolution theory to visual ethics and argues that social comparison theory favored by scholars of eating disorders is actually a Darwinian maladaptation to the media's widespread digital manipulation of women's bodies creating the thin ideal. An evolutionary perspective suggests how the media is enmeshed and why social comparison of the mediated ?mono-body? will continue. This study has three sections: 1) evolution theory and morality; 2) social comparison, biology of the social gaze, and anthropological evidence of Western media's (...)
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  • Are Past Normative Behaviors Predictive of Future Behavioral Intentions?Ram Madapulli, Robyn Berkley, Thomas Douglas, George W. Watson & Yuping Zeng - 2009 - Ethics and Behavior 19 (5):414-431.
    We acknowledge the limitations in measures of moral reasoning and pursue an alternative technique by investigating past behaviors as they relate to present behavioral intentions. Our purpose is to evaluate the merits of patterned normative behavior for predicting present and future, morally relevant outcomes. Participants completed a policy capturing experimental design responding to questions that orthogonally varied the situational nature of the decision context. Results indicate that past normative behaviors are significantly and directly related to ethical behavioral intentions. Moreover, they (...)
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