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Empathy and the Evolutionary Emergence of Guilt

Ramsey, Grant and Deem, Michael (2021) Empathy and the Evolutionary Emergence of Guilt. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Guilt poses a unique evolutionary problem. Unlike other dysphoric emotions, it is not immediately clear what its adaptive significance is. One can imagine thriving despite or even because of a lack of guilt. In this paper, we review solutions offered by Scott James, Richard Joyce, and Robert Frank and show that, although their solutions have merit, none adequately solves the puzzle. We offer an alternative solution, one that emphasizes the role of empathy and post-transgression behavior in the evolution of guilt. Our solution, we contend, offers a better account of why guilt evolved to play its distinctive social role.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ramsey, Grantgrant@theramseylab.org0000-0002-8712-5521
Deem, Michaeldeemm@duq.edu0000-0002-4379-8257
Keywords: Guilt; Empathy; Evolution; Behavior; Moral Emotions
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Grant Ramsey
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2021 14:01
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2021 14:01
Item ID: 19265
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Date: 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19265

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