maandag, januari 05, 2015

Samuel Bowles on how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

In his book A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution
Bowles explains the following:

Genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. Cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups.
Key to this process:

the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt,
our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment.

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