[lbo-talk] Altruism

// ravi ravi at platosbeard.org
Wed Aug 10 09:08:52 PDT 2011

On Aug 10, 2011, at 11:44 AM, Wojtek S wrote:
>> ravi: "economists Ernst Fehr and Urs Fischbacher wrote in a review
>> article for Nature that prosocial behavior in nonhuman animals is
>> “largely restricted to kin groups” making human societies “a huge
>> anomaly in the animal world.” The economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert
>> Gintis even went so far as to claim “human cooperation is the result
>> of human capacities that are unique to our species.”"
> [WS:] Is not being anti-social, if not an outright psychopath, a
> prerequisite of becoming an economist?


> In any case, altruism is basically glorified empathy…

Wilson/Sober offer a pretty good working definition of altruism for use in biology (the rare instance of a useful reduction) as actions that increase the fitness of others (in particular non-kin) at the cost of one’s own fitness.

> (as all abstract
> concepts are metaphorical derivatives of sensory perceptions,)

You aren’t saying what I think you are saying are you? That all concepts spring from the senses?


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