David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):153-162 (2008)
Psychological altruism (being motivated by the needs of others) has a tendency to produce behaviour that is costly in evolutionary terms. How, then, could the capacity for psychological altruism evolve? One suggestion is that it is the result of sexual selection. There are, however, two problems that face such an account: first, it is not clear that the resulting behaviour would be altruistic in the relevant sense, and second, it does not seem to fit with key features of our actual helping behaviour. I will argue that both of these problems can be avoided if we adopt a modular account of desire formation.
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