From the Ancient Chinese to the Romans and Greeks, from Judaism to Christianity, the notion of Altruism has been central to our morality and our relationship with other human beings.
Themes around Altruism pervade this magazine on a monthly basis, so we have dedicated the entire issue to the exploration of it. We examine new findings from behavioral psychology, cognitive science and evolutionary biology to examine what motivates us to be altruistic. We interview Jason McKenzie Alexander, a writer and professor on the evolution of morality to discuss the future of altruism. We also explore the issue of aid, the archetype of societal level altruism and how we can encourage an effective form of it.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, we look forward to hearing your responses.
Professor Michael Karlberg, author of Beyond the Culture of Contest, shares his radical thinking on human nature. His findings stand in clear contrast with the traditional, Enlightenment view of human beings as selfish, utility optimizing machines that function most efficiently when we allow the ‘invisible hand’ of competition to create order. In this exclusive essay for Beyond One, he offers an al
In 1917, the Dutch thinker Bernard Mandeville published his infamous poem, The Fable of the Bees. It tells of a successful and powerful beehive whose members act only in pursuit of personal gain and self-esteem. One day, a change occurs in this efficient beehive. A new value is espoused in which selfishness is condemned, and virtuousness becomes the dominant aspiration. Overnight, their society comes to a halt. Commerce and business falters, and the bees are forced to abandon their hive and unceremoniously move into the hollow of a tree. The moral of the fable is that
Altruism is deeply rooted within our sociology and cultural heritage. Our reverence for great altruistic individuals is a testament to our gratitude for this component within humanity.
All major religions have had their text and doctrines deeply rooted in altruism and their most revered individuals are a symbolic embodiment of the ultimate altruist. Buddha, Moses, Jesus & Muhammad – their legacies are filled with the tales of dedicating their very existence to advancing the human pl
Beyond One interviewed Dr. Jason McKenzie Alexander, an expert on the evolution of altruism and a professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics. He is also the author of The Structural Evolution of Morality. His knowledge of game theory, cognitive science, and behavioral psychology provides fascinating insights into how altruistic behavior developed.
BO: In Non-Zero, Robert Wright argues that as human societies progressed, we replaced zero-sum games (e.g. war) with non-zero sum games (e
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
- The Good Samaritan - Luke 10. 25-33
This quote from the parable of the Good Samaritan asks the fundamental question that lies at the heart of the concept of altruism - what constitutes an act of altruism? The French philosopher ...Read more