Archive for the ‘Moral psychology’ Category

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

Here’s a review, by David Willetts , of Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield’s book, SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

The link to the review is here: The invisible hand that binds us all

Willetts’s bottom line:

Like other great controversialists, Mr Nowak moves from decision matrices to emotive moral language. He says the best strategy is to be hopeful, generous and forgiving. Hopeful means you first try co-operation – your opening move should be positive. Generous means not to be as concerned where you are relative to others as to obscure your own gains from interaction even if they are more modest. Forgiving means if someone else defects, you do not defect straightaway but try to re-establish co-operation, not least because it could have been an accidental mistake.

We cannot just offer freedom, opportunity and choice without also recognising the power of belonging, commitment and roots. But all politicians can draw inspiration and ideas from the intellectual resources of this exciting approach.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

Blind Spots

Here’s a review, by Harvey Schachter, of Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel’s book, Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It

The link to the review is here: Ethics become blurred when end justifies the means

Schachter’s bottom line:

This book is a step toward that training, bringing together a host of studies by the authors and others that probe how easy it is for us act less ethically than we would like. The book also shows how organizations can take advantage of these findings in behavioural ethics to change their informal culture and reduce the chances that they will follow the News of the World into oblivion.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: Blind Spots
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

Neuroethics

Here’s a review, by Laura Cabrera, of Martha J. Farah’s book, Neuroethics: An Introduction With Readings

The link to the review is here: Neuroethics

Carbera’s bottom line:

Neuroethics: an Introduction with Readings is a very welcome and readable addition to the literature covering this new and challenging field of ethical inquiry. It is not only a book that provides ethical awareness concerning the issues that appear as a consequence of understanding more about our brains, it is also a book that engages the brain of the reader and as such deserves to be read by those interested in gaining more insight into what makes us who we are.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: Neuroethics
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

The Moral Landscape (again)

Here’s a terrific review (by philosopher Michael Ruse) of Sam Harris’s new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values: Little ‘Value’ in New Harris Book

According to Ruse, the book’s key flaws are a) the author’s excessive enthusiasm for personal attacks, and b) the author’s hubris in believing that he had found “the secret that has eluded David Hume and G. E. Moore, and just about every professional philosopher of the twentieth century….”

Ruse’s bottom line:

If God wanted to destroy New Atheism, getting this book written was a good start. Although, as I said at the beginning, perhaps the first divine move was making Sam Harris so famous he thought he could get away with it.

To see this book on Amazon, click here: The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

The Moral Landscape

Here’s a review (by Steve Paulson, writing for HuffPo) of Sam Harris’s new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

The atheist Sam Harris has just lobbed a bombshell into the roiling debate over science and religion. In his new book The Moral Landscape, he argues for an entirely new understanding of morality, based not on religion but on new insights from science, especially brain science….

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: The Moral Landscape
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

The Brain and the Meaning of Life

Here’s a review (by Iddo Landau) of Paul Thagard’s new book, The Brain and the Meaning of Life by Paul Thagard.

The review begins by explaining the scope of the book (and its relevance to ethics)…

The name of this well-written and ambitious book understates the breadth of its scope. The book deals with the relation of modern neuroscience not only to the meaning of life, but also to ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology.

Landau’s bottom line:

An unorthodox book such as this is bound to arouse many disagreements and controversies; this is part of its power. Both those who agree with Thagard and those who do not are likely to find much interest in the direction he points at and the arguments he presents.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: The Brain and the Meaning of Life
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

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