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Ethical Brain: Chapter 10

#21: Oct. - Dec. 2005 (Non-Fiction)
Jeremy1952
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Re: Ch. 10 - Toward a Universal Ethics

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TaravQuote:. . .this was a new one for me. Basically, this hypothesis puts forth the idea that we help others to relieve our own simulated distress.I thought this was the standard explanation.Quote:This is based on the idea that people unconsciously mimic the distress we see in others. This simulation actually makes us feel bad. Therefore, we want to help the person in distress in order to alleviate our own distress. this part is new, it elaborates on the neural substrate of the above explanation.Quote:Does anyone have any thoughts on this hypothesis?This is a proximate explanation, rather than an ultimate explanation. Although proximate explanations are interesting and have their place (after all, medicine is built on them), ultimate explanations are much more interesting to me. Why did it evolve? What selective pressures led to this mechanism? What predictions can we make based on its survival value? If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984
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