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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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Morality, Altruism, and Love

Morality, Altruism, and Love

Chapter:
(p.40) 3 Morality, Altruism, and Love
Source:
Altruism and Altruistic Love
Author(s):

Jerome Kagan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0005

Morality, altruism, and love have multiple meanings and each is linked to semantic networks that vary in their sense and referential meaning. Humans inherit an ability to acquire language, but no one language is more natural or adaptive than another. Altruism focuses also on the network that emphasizes the helping agent's awareness of the need of another and the intention to be of assistance rather than the network favored by behavioral biologists that refers only to behaviors of an agent that benefit another. The concept of love refers to an emotional state rather than to an intention, action, or moral judgment. Biology and experience are interlaced in the creation of representations of perfection in human traits and activities. The premises of evolutionary biology have contributed to the resurgent narcissism.

Keywords:   morality, altruism, love, semantic networks, evolutionary biology, narcissism

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