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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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Pythagorean Bodies and the Body of Altruism

Pythagorean Bodies and the Body of Altruism

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Pythagorean Bodies and the Body of Altruism
Source:
Altruism and Altruistic Love
Author(s):

Edith Wyschogrod

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0004

Altruism may be seen as endorsing actions that exceed the limits of what is taken to be one's duty, whether by the control of contrary inclinations and interests or without effort. As a starting point for understanding the Pythagorean body, it may be useful to consider a standard formulation of altruism and egoism as seen by evolutionary biology in terms of their potential for the enhancement of fitness and their capacity for replication. The interpretation of the body as code lends itself readily to the modeling of artificial life, life that is humanly contrived, through the use of computational prototypes, thus further attesting the pervasiveness of Pythagorean design. For the alterity-altruist, the body of the other as other is not the body understood as the coded information that governs its form and behaviors and even as the body as given in ordinary experience.

Keywords:   Pythagorean body, alterity-altruist, altruism, egoism, formulation

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