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[Related Event] The 57th meeting of Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy

18:00-20:00, Friday, August 7, 2015
Room 710, Bld 14, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

Department of History and Philosophy of Science will hold the 57th Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy. Everyone is welcome.

Date & Time: 7th Augst (Friday), 2015, 18:00-20:00
Venue: the 14th Building, Room 710 on the 7th floor, Komaba Campus

Presenter: Masa Kataoka (The University of Tokyo)
Title: Psychological Altruism: A critical examination of the argument from evolution

Psychological Altruism is a view that people have ultimate desire for other person’s welfare. This view has long been attacked by Psychological Egoism, a view that people only have ultimate desire for their own welfare. The debate between the two is now more and more informed by empirical sciences. In this talk, I introduce briefly the current situation of the debate, and examine critically a recent argument for psychological altruism: Eliot Sober & David Sloan Wilson’s evolutionary argument (Sober and Wilson 1998). They argue that altruistic organism is more evolutionarily adoptive than egoistic one. So, they say, it is plausible to think that we are altruistic. Despite its biological guise, the argument is essentially speculative. Its core is the comparison of the reliability of altruistic models of mind with that of an egoistic model. According to Sober & Wilson, the altruistic models are more reliable than the competitor at least in four ways. I assess each of these four points, and show that all of them do not stand.

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