David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):411 - 435 (2005)
What are the cognitive mechanisms that underlie selfless conduct, both ‘thinking’ and unthinking? We first consider deliberate selflessness, a manner of selecting acts in which, in evaluating options, one expressly chooses not to weigh the potential consequences for oneself (though this formulation is seen as needing some qualification). We then turn to unthinking behavior in general, and whether we are responsible for it, as the foundation for analyzing the unthinking variety of selflessness. Using illustrative cases (Grenade Gallantry, The Well-Meaning Miner, Ignorant Ilya, Self-Disregarding Sally) we explore just what is involved in setting aside one's self-interests unthinkingly. Eventually, this account links up with work on mental compartmentalization, as it becomes apparent that unthinking selflessness encompasses both unthinking behavior (calling upon inexplicit cognitive utilization of stored images) that is selfless, and thinking behavior (calling upon reasoning with sentences) that is unthinkingly selfless (by virtue of an unreasoned, automatic shift of cognitive standpoint to a ‘compartment’ that omits information about one's self-interests). The analysis points toward a practical program for generating increased selflessness in ourselves and others.
|Keywords||altruism automaticity cognition compartmentalization courage knowledge selflessness unthinking|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bernard Reginster (2008). Knowledge and Selflessness: Schopenhauer and the Paradox of Reflection. European Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):251-272.
Christopher Janaway (2007/2009). Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy. Oxford University Press.
Cyril G. Williams (1971). Selflessness in the Pattern of Salvation. Religious Studies 7 (2):153 - 167.
Bernard Reginster (2000). Nietzsche on Selflessness and the Value of Altruism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (2):177 - 200.
Christopher Janaway (2008). Beyond Selflessness in Ethics and Inquiry. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 35 (1):124-140.
P. J. E. Kail (2009). Naturalism, Method and Genealogy in Beyond Selflessness. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):113-120.
Kenneth F. Schaffner (1998). Paradigm Changes in Organ Transplantation: A Journey Toward Selflessness? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (5):425-440.
Bernard Reginster (2009). Christopher Janaway, Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's “Genealogy”. [REVIEW] Ethics 120 (1).
Robert Wicks (2011). Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's 'Genealogy' – Christopher Janaway. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):637-640.
Barbra Clayton (2001). Compassion as a Matter of Fact: The Argument From No‐Self to Selflessness in Sāntideva'sSiksāsamuccaya. Contemporary Buddhism 2 (1):83-97.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #132,704 of 1,099,722 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #49,602 of 1,099,722 )
How can I increase my downloads?