The term altruism was coined by the 19th century sociologist Auguste Comte and is derived from the Latin “alteri” or "the others”. It describes an unselfish attention to the needs of others. Comte declared that man had a moral duty to “serve humanity, whose we are entirely.” The idea of altruism is central to the main religions: Jesus declared “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” and Mohammed said “none of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself”. Buddhism too advocates “seeking for others the happiness one desires for oneself.”…
If both mankind and the natural world are selfishly seeking to promote their own survival and advancement, how can we explain being kind to others, sometimes at our own expense? How have philosophical ideas about altruism responded to evolutionary theory? And paradoxically, is it possible that altruism can, in fact, be selfish? Contributors include Miranda Fricker, Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and John Dupré, Professor of Philosophy of Science at Exeter University and director of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (from BBC’s In Our Time).

Niall Ferguson: The War of the World
The 20th century was a period of unprecedented economic growth and scientific discovery, but equally a century of unparalleled bloodshed and warfare - estimates suggest that 1 in every 22 deaths in the 20th century were the result of violence. Niall Ferguson argues that the intensity of the 'hundred years war' can be explained by the factors of ethnic disintegration, economic volatility, and empires in decline - forces which are to be found behind sites of contemporary conflict, notably the Middle East.

Can chocolate cure hypochondria?
Associate Professor in Latin Humanism Yasmin Haskell from the University of Western Australia talks about the history of hypochondria and benefits of chocolate.

Des Moore on Milton Friedman
“Why was Friedman so influential? It was not due to esoteric analyses of economic theory accepted in academia. He did very little of this and many academics resented his rebuttals of the merits of government intervention. His influence came importantly from his ability to explain and defend his beliefs in terms that were comprehensible and persuasive to the layman. His constant theme that adoption of free market policies were in the interests of the common man helped enormously.”

Carbon trading

Humour, learning and kids

Utility of Force- General Sir Rupert Smith (ret., British Army)

The Long War General John Philip Abizaid, Commander of U.S. CENTCOM

A Conversation with Akbar Ganji and Martha Nussbaum

Democracy Amercian and British style

Egyptian Book of the Dead

Does raising the miminum wage help the poor?

Private equity - the purest capitalism
Related blog- Going Private


When it comes to podcasts, this latest Pew survey might be of some interest:

"The Pew Internet and American Life Project said Wednesday that 12 percent of Internet users have downloaded a podcast, an increase from 7 percent earlier in the year.

However, only about 1 percent said they download a podcast on a typical day — unchanged from the survey earlier this year. The rest do so less frequently, perhaps only once."

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061122/ap_on_hi_te/internet_podcasts

thanks, Saar. One reason might be the slowness of internet in a lot of countries.


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 23, 2006 5:34 PM.

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