David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):239-250 (2002)
Many situations in human life present choices between (a) narrowly preferred particular alternatives and (b) narrowly less preferred (or aversive) particular alternatives that nevertheless form part of highly preferred abstract behavioral patterns. Such alternatives characterize problems of self-control. For example, at any given moment, a person may accept alcoholic drinks yet also prefer being sober to being drunk over the next few days. Other situations present choices between (a) alternatives beneficial to an individual and (b) alternatives that are less beneficial (or harmful) to the individual that would nevertheless be beneficial if chosen by many individuals. Such alternatives characterize problems of social cooperation; choices of the latter alternative are generally considered to be altruistic. Altruism, like self-control, is a valuable temporally-extended pattern of behavior. Like self-control, altruism may be learned and maintained over an individual's lifetime. It needs no special inherited mechanism. Individual acts of altruism, each of which may be of no benefit (or of possible harm) to the actor, may nevertheless be beneficial when repeated over time. However, because each selfish decision is individually preferred to each altruistic decision, people can benefit from altruistic behavior only when they are committed to an altruistic pattern of acts and refuse to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
|Keywords||addiction commitment cooperation defection reciprocation self-control|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Sloan Wilson (1992). On the Relationship Between Evolutionary and Psychological Definitions of Altruism and Selfishness. Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):61-68.
Jonathan Baron (2002). Rationality and Illusion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):252-253.
Claus Wedekind (2002). Valuable Reputation Gained by Altruistic Behavioral Patterns. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):279-280.
Daniel Read (2002). Altruism: Brand Management or Uncontrollable Urge? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):271-271.
Hugh Lacey (2002). Teleological Behaviorism and Altruism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):266-267.
Peter Danielson (2002). Learning to Cooperate: Reciprocity and Self-Control. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):256-257.
Richard Schuster (2002). Altruism is a Social Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):272-274.
Herbert Gintis (2002). Altruism and Emotions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):258-259.
Howard Rachlin (2002). Altruism is a Form of Self-Control. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):284-291.
J. McKenzie Alexander (2002). Behaviorism and Altruistic Acts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):252-252.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads31 ( #47,424 of 1,088,810 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )
How can I increase my downloads?