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Profile: Christine Clavien (Université de Lausanne)
  1. Christine Clavien (forthcoming). Evolution, Society, and Ethics: Social Darwinism Versus Evolutionary Ethics. In Thomas Heams (ed.), Handbook of Evolutionary Biology (provis. Title). Springer.
    Evolutionary ethics (EE) is a branch of philosophy that arouses both fascination and deep suspicion. It claims that Darwinian mechanisms and evolutionary data on animal sociality are relevant to ethical reflection. This field of study is often misunderstood and rarely fails to conjure up images of Social Darwinism as a vector for nasty ideologies and policies. However, it is worth resisting the temptation to reduce EE to Social Darwinism and developing an objective analysis of whether it is appropriate to adopt (...)
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  2. Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat (2013). Altruism Across Disciplines: One Word, Multiple Meanings. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):125-140.
    Altruism is a deep and complex phenomenon that is analysed by scholars of various disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, biology, evolutionary anthropology and experimental economics. Much confusion arises in current literature because the term altruism covers variable concepts and processes across disciplines. Here we investigate the sense given to altruism when used in different fields and argumentative contexts. We argue that four distinct but related concepts need to be distinguished: (a) psychological altruism , the genuine motivation to improve others’ interests and (...)
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  3. Christine Clavien (2012). Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism. In Katie Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Press.
    In this paper, I reframe the long-standing controversy between ‘psychological egoism’, which argues that human beings never perform altruistic actions, and the opposing thesis of ‘psychological altruism’, which claims that human beings are, at least sometimes, capable of acting in an altruistic fashion. After a brief sketch of the controversy, I begin by presenting some representative arguments in favour of psychological altruism before showing that they can all be called into question by appealing to the idea of an unconscious self-directed (...)
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  4. Christine Clavien (2012). Kitcher’s Revolutionary Reasoning Inversion in Ethics. Analyse and Kritk 34 (1):117-128.
    This paper examines three specific issues raised by The Ethical Project. First, I discuss the varieties of altruism and spell out the differences between the definitions proposed by Kitcher and the ways altruism is usually conceived in biology, philosophy, psychology, and economics literature. Second, with the example of Kitcher’s account, I take a critical look at evolutionary stories of the emergence of human ethical practices. Third, I point to the revolutionary implications of the Darwinian methodology when it is thoughtfully applied (...)
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  5. Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat (2012). Altruism - a Philosophical Analysis. eLS.
    Altruism is a malleable notion that is understood differently in various disciplines. The common denominator of most definitions of altruism is the idea of unidirectional helping behaviour. However, a closer examination reveals that the term altruism sometimes refers to the outcomes of a helping behaviour for the agent and its neighbours – i.e. reproductive altruism – and sometimes to what motivates the agent to help others – i.e. psychological altruism. Since these perspectives on altruism are crucially different, it is important (...)
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  6. Christine Clavien, Colby Tanner, Fabrice Clément & Michel Chapuisat (2012). Choosy Moral Punishers. PLoS ONE.
    The punishment of social misconduct is a powerful mechanism for stabilizing high levels of cooperation among unrelated individuals. It is regularly assumed that humans have a universal disposition to punish social norm violators, which is sometimes labelled “universal structure of human morality” or “pure aversion to social betrayal”. Here we present evidence that, contrary to this hypothesis, the propensity to punish a moral norm violator varies among participants with different career trajectories. In anonymous real-life conditions, future teachers punished a talented (...)
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  7. Christine Clavien (2011). Trois Sortes d'Altruisme Et Leur Rapport À la Morale. In Masala & Ravat (ed.), La Morale Humaine Et les Sciences. Editions Matériologiques. 141--68.
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  8. Christine Clavien (2010). An Affective Approach to Moral Motivation. Journal of Cognitive Science 11 (2):129-160.
    Over the last few years, there has been a surge of work in a new field called “moral psychology”, which uses experimental methods to test the psychological processes underlying human moral activity. In this paper, I shall follow this line of approach with the aim of working out a model of how people form value judgements and how they are motivated to act morally. I call this model an “affective picture”: ‘picture’ because it remains strictly at the descriptive level and (...)
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  9. Christine Clavien (2010). Gerd Gigerenzer, Gut Feelings: Short Cuts to Better Decision Making. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):113-115.
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  10. Christine Clavien (2010). Je T'aide Moi Non Plus: Biologique, Comportemental Ou Psychologique, l'Altruisme Dans Tous Ses États. Vuibert.
    « Je t’aime moi non plus », le titre de la fameuse chanson de Gainsbourg reflète de manière exquise ce que la vie a de beau et d’amer à la fois. A défaut de traiter d’amour, cet ouvrage analyse les méandres de l’aide à sens unique. L’altruisme, ce comportement de don sans attente de retour de service, est abordé ici de manière scientifique et philosophique plutôt que poétique et littéraire. Un objectif est d’en traquer les mécanismes sous-jacents, ceux qui échappent (...)
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  11. Christine Clavien & Rebekka A. Klein (2010). Eager for Fairness or for Revenge? Psychological Altruism in Economics. Economics and Philosophy 26 (03):267-290.
    To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies prove (...)
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  12. Christine Clavien (2009). Comment Comprendre les Émotions Morales. Dialogue 48 (03):601-.
    The two main goals of this paper are to question the possibility of the existence of moral emotions and to decipher the notion of moral emotion. I start with a brief critical analysis of various philosophical understandings of moral emotions before setting out an evolutionary line of approach that seems promising at first glance: according to the functional evolutionary approach, moral emotions have the evolutionary function of sustaining cooperation. It turns out ultimately that this approach has its own drawbacks. I (...)
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  13. Christine Clavien (2009). Gibbard's Expressivism: An Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):465 – 485.
    This paper examines key aspects of Allan Gibbard's psychological account of moral activity. Inspired by evolutionary theory, Gibbard paints a naturalistic picture of morality mainly based on two specific types of emotion: guilt and anger. His sentimentalist and expressivist analysis is also based on a particular conception of rationality. I begin by introducing Gibbard's theory before testing some key assumptions underlying his system against recent empirical data and theories. The results cast doubt on some crucial aspects of Gibbard's philosophical theory, (...)
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  14. Christine Clavien (2009). Jugements moraux et motivation à la lumière des données empiriques. Studia Philosophica 68:179-206.
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  15. Christine Clavien, Julien A. Deonna & Ivo Wallimann (2007). Affective Intentionality and Practical Rationality. Dialectica 61 (3):311–322.
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  16. Christine Clavien (2006). L'éthique évolutionniste. Revue de Théologie Et de Philosophie 138 (3):227-244.
    L�éthique évolutionniste est un courant qui cherche à introduire le point de vue de l�évolution dans la philosophie morale. Plus précisément, les tenants de cette approche s�inspirent de données issues de différentes sciences comme la biologie évolutive, la théorie des jeux, la neurobiologie, la psychologie évolutionniste, etc., pour aborder des questions traditionnellement traitées en philosophie morale. Évidemment, il y a bien des façons d�utiliser ce matériau et c�est ce que je me propose d�explorer dans cet article. Mon but est de (...)
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  17. Christine Clavien, Julien Deonna & Ivo Wallimann (2006). Introduction: Emotions and Rationality in Moral Philosophy. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 2 (2):5-9.
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