According to many Western biologists and other behavioral scientists, competition has assured that narrow self-interest is the only important human motive. In this presentation, we will challenge this prevailing view by describing an important class of economic and social problems in which selfish motives turn out to be self-defeating. Drawing on evidence that reliable nonverbal signals of character exist, we will explain how cooperative predispositions might survive in – and, indeed, even be nurtured by – competitive environments. This count is at once in harmony with the Western view that self-interest underlies all action and, at the same time, with the Buddhist view that there can be great advantage in transcending our selfish tendencies.
- Dialogue 52 sessions
- October 6, 1995Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India