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Culture & Religion

Is Human Nature Selfless?

Is human nature selfless? The conclusion of many biologists that life is a series of fierce competitions for resources is put in doubt by the seemingly selfless behavior of many species.

“From Aesop’s fables to those of La Fontaine, talking animals—monkeys, wolves in sheep’s clothing, grasshoppers, ants—have exposed human foibles and vices and occasional virtues. In so doing, they challenge all rigid boundaries between humans and other species as well as the common view of human wrong doing as ‘bestial’ in nature—a term Erasmus de clared deeply unfair to animals, given the scale of violence and deceit practiced by human beings. In his engaging book The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness, Oren Harman, a professor of the history of science at Bar Ilan University in Israel, presents a wealth of scientific research bearing on forms of cooperation, helpfulness, even self-sacrifice among many species.”


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