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Christine Clavien
University of Geneva
  1.  69
    Altruism Across Disciplines: One Word, Multiple Meanings.Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat - 2013 - 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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  2. Altruism - a Philosophical Analysis.Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat - 2012 - 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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  3. The Evolution of Moral Intuitions and Their Feeling of Rightness.Christine Clavien & Chloë FitzGerald - forthcoming - In Joyce R. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy.
    Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and a (...)
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  4. Kitcher’s Revolutionary Reasoning Inversion in Ethics.Christine Clavien - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 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. Eager for Fairness or for Revenge? Psychological Altruism in Economics.Christine Clavien & Rebekka A. Klein - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):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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  6. Choosy Moral Punishers.Christine Clavien, Colby Tanner, Fabrice Clément & Michel Chapuisat - 2012 - 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. Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism.Christine Clavien - 2012 - 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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  8. Evolution, Society, and Ethics: Social Darwinism Versus Evolutionary Ethics.Christine Clavien - forthcoming - 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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  9. Affective Intentionality and Practical Rationality.Julien Deonna, Christine Clavien & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer - 2007 - .
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  10. An Affective Approach to Moral Motivation.Christine Clavien - 2010 - 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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  11.  33
    Gibbard's Expressivism: An Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis.Christine Clavien - 2009 - 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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  12. Je T'aide Moi Non Plus: Biologique, Comportemental Ou Psychologique, l'Altruisme Dans Tous Ses États.Christine Clavien - 2010 - 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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  13. Gerd Gigerenzer, Gut Feelings: Short Cuts to Better Decision Making. [REVIEW]Christine Clavien - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):113-115.
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  14.  26
    Eager for Fairness or for Revenge? Psychological Altruism in Economics: Christine Clavien and Rebekka A. Klein.Christine Clavien - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):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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  15.  10
    Ethics of Nudges: A General Framework with a Focus on Shared Preference Justifications.Christine Clavien - 2018 - Journal of Moral Education 47 (3):366-382.
    Nudges are soft interventions designed to influence human behaviour. They are increasingly used by policymakers around the world and generate heated controversies over their ethical acceptability. In this article, I depict nudges as science-based technologies, point to new ethical responsibilities they raise—when they are used but also when they are not used—and to the necessity of establishing clear evaluation criteria. I then elaborate a four-level framework for evaluating the acceptability of particular nudges. The second part of the article focuses specifically (...)
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  16.  29
    The Evolution of Utility Functions and Psychological Altruism.Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:24-31.
    Numerous studies show that humans tend to be more cooperative than expected given the assumption that they are rational maximizers of personal gain. As a result, theoreticians have proposed elaborated formal representations of human decision-making, in which utility functions including “altruistic” or “moral” preferences replace the purely self-oriented "Homo economicus" function. Here we review mathematical approaches that provide insights into the mathematical stability of alternative ways of representing human decision-making in social contexts. Candidate utility functions may be evaluated with help (...)
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  17.  51
    Affective Intentionality and Practical Rationality.Christine Clavien, Julien A. Deonna & Ivo Wallimann - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (3):311–322.
  18.  22
    Trois Sortes d'Altruisme Et Leur Rapport À la Morale.Christine Clavien - 2011 - In Masala & Ravat (ed.), La Morale Humaine Et les Sciences. Editions Matériologiques. pp. 141--68.
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  19.  13
    Introduction: Emotions and Rationality in Moral Philosophy.Christine Clavien, Ivo Wallimann-Helmer & Julien Deonna - 2006 - .
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  20.  13
    Introduction: Emotions and Rationality in Moral Philosophy.Christine Clavien, Julien Deonna & Ivo Wallimann - 2006 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 2 (2):5-9.
  21.  20
    Comment Comprendre les Émotions Morales.Christine Clavien - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (3):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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  22.  11
    Jugements moraux et motivation à la lumière des données empiriques.Christine Clavien - 2009 - Studia Philosophica: Jahrbuch Der Schweizerischen Philosoph Ischen Gesellschaft, Annuaire de la Société Suisse de Philosphie 68:179-206.
    This paper contains an ‘affective picture’: a story, extensively supported by empirical data, about the way I take people to judge and behave morally; a picture in which the respective roles of reflective and affective processes are explained. According to this picture, different sorts of judgements have to be distinguished, some being cognitively more complex than others. ‘Sophisticated judgements’ are displayed at the level of rational considerations and allow for moral thinking, whereas ‘basic value judgements’ are a primitive and nonreflective (...)
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  23. L'éthique évolutionniste.Christine Clavien - 2006 - 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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