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Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism

In Katie Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Press (2012)

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  1. Self-interest, compassion, and consistency in an environmental ethics class: would students give up their retirement to stop the coronavirus?Emily A. Davis, Thomas P. Wilson & Bradley R. Reynolds - 2021 - International Journal of Ethics Education 6 (2):311-321.
    During spring of 2020, environmental ethics students at a medium sized metropolitan university in the Southeastern United States were asked to read and comment on classic essays from Robert Heilbroner and Garrett Hardin, essays regarding our responsibilities towards future generations. In general, students seemed to hold more with Heilbroner’s stance, which left room for compassion, while condemning Hardin’s harshness. Students were then asked to provide written responses stating whether they would personally sacrifice their eventual retirement in order to stop COVID-19 (...)
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  • 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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