Chapter

Morality, Altruism, and Love

Jerome Kagan

in Altruism and Altruistic Love

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143584
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848119 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0005
Morality, Altruism, and Love

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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

Chapter.  5187 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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