This study investigated the extent to which people interpret real-life moral dilemmas in terms of an internal moral orientation, as Gilligan (1982, 1988) has suggested, or in terms of the content of the dilemma, as Wark and Krebs (1996, 1997) have reported. Thirty women and 30 men listed the issues they saw in descriptions of real-life prosocial, antisocial and social pressure types of moral dilemma. Results revealed that Gilligan's model underestimates the influence of dilemma content. Moral dilemmas differed in (...) the extent to which they were viewed in terms of the same issues by different participants. There was relatively little within-person consistency in moral orientation. There were four gender differences. Compared to men, women rated social pressure dilemmas as involving more care-orientated issues, and prosocial dilemmas as more significant. Compared to women, men viewed all dilemmas as involving more justice-based issues, and reported experiencing more antisocial dilemmas. (shrink)
Can evolutionary theory really help us to understand human behaviour? Sense and Nonsense provides an exciting and readable introduction to evolutionary theory. Including profiles of the major protagonists, the book provides the first balanced account of evolutionary theory, and all its faults. The result, is a highly accessible and fascinating account of some of the fierce debates in the scientific world.
Munich, Bayerische Staadtsbibliothek Ms. C.L.M. 4643 contains a curious commentary on Boethius's Arithmetica, which deals very fully with some passages in the work and totally neglects a great many others. The principal interest of the piece lies in the fact that the parts of the Arithmetica it selects for consideration are exactly those which were of special interest to twelfth- and early-thirteenth-century students, and in particular to the successors of Hugh of St. Victor who continued to draw on the Victorine (...) tradition. (shrink)
I should like to offer my greatest thanks to Paul Griffiths for providing the opportunity for this exchange, and to commentators Gillian Brown, Steven Fuller, Stefan Linquist, and Erika Milam for their generous and thought-provoking comments. I shall do my best in this space to respond to some of their concerns.
Wood, Kressel, Joshi, and Louie thoroughly evaluate the evidence for menstrual cycle shifts in ratings of several male characteristics and conclude that their analyses fail to provide supportive evidence for consistent cycle effects. The topic of menstrual cycle shifts in mate preferences has been strongly debated, with disagreements over both scientific content and practice. Here, we attempt to take a step back from these acrimonious exchanges and focus instead on how to interpret menstrual cycle shifts in mate preference tasks, independently (...) from the question of when, or if, task performance varies with cycle stage. A greater consideration of domain-general mechanisms could provide an opportunity for investigating how evolved predispositions interact with socially transmitted information in biasing women’s responses on mate preference tasks. (shrink)
Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using (...) evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. (shrink)
Gurven suggests that the tolerated scrounging model has limited relevance for explaining patterns of food transfers in human populations. However, this conclusion is based on a restricted interpretation of the tolerated scrounging model proposed originally by Blurton Jones (1987). Examples of food transfers in nonhuman primates illustrate that the assumptions of Gurven's tolerated scrounging model are open to question.
Always connect—that is the imperative of today’s media. But what about those moments when media cease to function properly, when messages go beyond the sender and receiver to become excluded from the world of communication itself—those messages that state: “There will be no more messages”? In this book, Alexander R. Galloway, Eugene Thacker, and McKenzie Wark turn our usual understanding of media and mediation on its head by arguing that these moments reveal the ways the impossibility of communication is (...) integral to communication itself—instances they call excommunication. In three linked essays, _Excommunication_ pursues this elusive topic by looking at mediation in the face of banishment, exclusion, and heresy, and by contemplating the possibilities of communication with the great beyond. First, Galloway proposes an original theory of mediation based on classical literature and philosophy, using Hermes, Iris, and the Furies to map out three of the most prevalent modes of mediation today—mediation as exchange, as illumination, and as network. Then, Thacker goes boldly beyond Galloway’s classification scheme by examining the concept of excommunication through the secret link between the modern horror genre and medieval mysticism. Charting a trajectory of examples from H. P. Lovecraft to Meister Eckhart, Thacker explores those instances when one communicates or connects with the inaccessible, dubbing such modes of mediation “haunted” or “weird” to underscore their inaccessibility. Finally, Wark evokes the poetics of the infuriated swarm as a queer politics of heresy that deviates from both media theory and the traditional left. He posits a critical theory that celebrates heresy and that is distinct from those that now venerate Saint Paul. Reexamining commonplace definitions of media, mediation, and communication, _Excommunication_ offers a glimpse into the realm of the nonhuman to find a theory of mediation adequate to our present condition. (shrink)
Abstract People rarely make the types of moral judgement evoked by Kohlberg's test when they make moral decisions in their everyday lives. The anticipated consequences of real?life moral decisions, to self and to others, may influence moral choices and the structure of moral reasoning. To understand real?life moral judgement we must attend to its functions, which, although they occasionally involve resolving hypothetical moral dilemmas like those on Kohlberg's test, more often involve promoting good social relations, upholding favourable self?concepts and justifying (...) self?interested behaviour. We argue that a functional model of moral judgement and moral behaviour derived from evolutionary theory may supply a better account of real?life morality than the Kohlbergian model. (shrink)
: Catholic teaching has no moral difficulties with research on stem cells derived from adult stem cells or fetal cord blood. The ethical problem comes with embryonic stem cells since their genesis involves the destruction of a human embryo. However, there seems to be significant promise of health benefits from such research. Although Catholic teaching does not permit any destruction of human embryos, the question remains whether researchers in a Catholic institution, or any researchers opposed to destruction of human embryos, (...) could participate in research on cultured embryonic stem cells, or whether a Catholic institution could use any therapy that ultimately results from such research. This position paper examines how such research could be conducted legitimately in a Catholic institution by using an ethical analysis involving a narrative context, the nature of the moral act, and the principle of material cooperation, along with references to significant ethical assessments. It also offers tentative guidelines that could be used by a Catholic institution in implementing such research. (shrink)