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Emotional Amoral Egoism: A Neurophilosophical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications Paperback – January 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: LIT Verlag (January 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3825809544
  • ISBN-13: 978-3825809546
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This ambitious and wide-ranging book offers both a synthesis of philosophical and scientific approaches to human nature and a strong plea for a set of universal human values. Its attraction lies in its forceful argument that the emotional aspects of human nature should be taken seriously if we are to design effective systems of political and moral cooperation, and that our political thinking needs to be inspired by the neuro-psychological consequences of our brain chemistry. --Professor Michael Freeden, Professor of Politics, Director of the Centre for Political Ideologies, Professorial Fellow, Mansfield College, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

About the Author

NAYEF R.F. AL-RODHAN is Senior Member of St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK. He is also Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for the Geopolitics of Globalization and Transnational Security at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland. He is a philosopher, neuroscientist, and geostrategist. A prize-winning scholar, he has published 21 books proposing many innovative concepts and theories in global politics and security. He was educated at Yale University, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University. He is best known for several philosophical and analytic books on global politics that include: The Role of the Arab-Islamic World in the Rise of the West; Meta-Geopolitics of Outer Space; Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man; Emotional Amoral Egoism; Neo-Statecraft and Meta-Geopolitics; The Politics of Emerging Strategic Technologies and Symbiotic Realism.

More About the Author

Dr. Nayef Al-Rodhan is a Philosopher, Neuroscientist and Geostrategist.

He is a Senior Member of St. Antony's College at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom and Senior Fellow and Centre Director of the Centre for the Geopolitics of Globalization and Transnational Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.

He holds an M.D. and a Ph.D, and trained in Neurosurgery/Neuroscience research at the Mayo Clinic, Yale University and Harvard University. He founded the Neurotechnology programme, headed Translational Research and founded the Laboratory for Cellular Neurosurgery and Neurosurgical Technology at MGH, Harvard. He was on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, has published extensively on Neuroscience research and won several research prizes. These include: The Sir James Spence Prize; The Gibb Prize; The Farquhar-Murray Prize; The American Association of Neurological Surgeon Prize (twice); The Meninger Prize; The Annual Resident Prize of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons; The Young Investigator Prize of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons; The Annual Fellowship Prize of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

His Geostrategy interests include: Geopolitics of the Middle East; Sustainable National and Global Security; Geopolitics of outer Space and Strategic Technologies; and Global Strategic Cascading Risks.

His Philosophical interests include: Global Justice; Human Dignity and International order; Transcultural Synergy; Philosophy of Human Nature; Philosophy of Sustainable History; History of Ideas; Cellular and Neurochemical Foundations and Predilections of Human Nature and Their Implications for War, Peace and Moral and Political Cooperation.

He has proposed many innovative theories and concepts in Philosophy, Global security, and Geostrategy and published 21 books. He is best known for several Philosophical and analytic works on global politics that include: "Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man"; "Emotional Amoral Egoism"; "Neo-Statecraft and Meta-Geopolitics", "Symbiotic Realism "; "Critical Turning Points in the Middle East: 1915-2015"; "The Politics of Emerging Strategic Technologies"; "The Meta-Geopolitics of Outer Space"; and "The Role of the Arab-Islamic World in the Rise of the West".


For additional information on Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan's publications and ideas, please see: www.sustainable-history.com

Facebook: Nayef Al-Rodhan
Twitter: Nayef Al-Rodhan @SustainHistory

Customer Reviews

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This would be a great book to use in a Ethics and/or Theory class.
T
Despite its discussion of very complex topics, this book is an easy read and I recommend it to everyone with any interest in the these topics.
Kelsey R Holden
"Emotional Amoral Egoism: ..." by Nayef Al-Rodhan is a great look into many aspects of the human mind and human nature.
Lonna H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey R Holden on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this neurophilosophical discussion of human nature and the resulting views of morality, xenophobia, conflict and governance.
Drawing on his experience as a leading neuro-scientist, Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan basically argues that humans are amoral. In other terms, as long as their basic needs are not satisfied, they will act without morality, only aiming at fulfilling their egoist, basic needs. This is why strong governance structures are required in order to contain and regulate these traits of human nature.
Furthermore, Dr Al-Rodhan challenges the underlying assumptions of conventional International Relations and Economic Theories by holding that Human Nature is much more emotional rather than rational. While the assumption of rationality of man has been frequently criticized in recent months, little effort has been made to provide new approaches. This book fills this gap by scientifically demonstrating that humans are emotional, amoral and egoist beings.
Despite its discussion of very complex topics, this book is an easy read and I recommend it to everyone with any interest in the these topics.
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Format: Paperback
Author: Dr. Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan
ISBN: 978-3-8258-0954-6
Publisher: Transaction Publishers

For centuries there has been an ongoing debate as to how much of our human behavior, ideas and feelings are innate and how much are influenced by our environment. Are we born good or bad? Does reason or emotions drive us? Is our mind malleable or predisposed? In fact, these nature vs nurture debates have been one of the most enduring in the fields of philosophy, religion, psychology and many other disciplines.

According to Dr. Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan, author of Emotional Amoral Egoism: A Neurophilosopical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications, how we answer these questions determine how we answer whether humans are capable of moral behavior (consistent with a system of rules of correct conduct).

Dr. Al-Rodhan believes that humankind is neither always moral nor always immoral, but is capable of being either at different times. As he states: "human nature is governed by general self-interest and affected by genetic predispostion, which implies that there are likely to be limits to our moral sensitivities."

To advance his theory, he sets out to accomplish two tasks in his book. Firstly, he endeavours to reach a comprehension of human nature, which, as he states, offers us the promise of living a good life. Consequently, he poses the following questions: what is it that motivates humankind? What is humankind capable of under certain circumstances and moreover, does humankind possess an innate morality?

To answer these questions, Dr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lonna H. on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Emotional Amoral Egoism: ..." by Nayef Al-Rodhan is a great look into many aspects of the human mind and human nature. Until now, many people believed that a strict moral code was responsible for the actions of most people. However, the author proposes that it is not morality but rather by internal desires and self preservation. He discusses his belief that humans are not moral or immoral by nature, but rather amoral. When faced with situations, our survival instinct kicks in and morality has little impact on our decision making. This theory can be expanded to cover a multitude of scenarios from the political realm to our day to day lives.

This book is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy reading about how philosophy has changed and continues to change and shape our world, this is definitely the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kratzy on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book does it all. If you ever thought that a philosophy book was just a collection of thoughts and ideas without the real hard-core scientific proof or the basing in history, read this book and see how a well rounded basis for a new philosophical concept can be written.
The author starts off with an extremely well written summary of the history of philosophy. If you just heard of Kant, but have never read any of his books, this summary is highly recommend for anyone interested in getting a broad overview of the most well known philosophers. The author in clear and concise terms summarizes the major ideas and how philosophy developed/evolved over time.
Then comes the actual meat of the book. The author's basic idea is that the human mind or humans themselves are not a blank slate, but that some quasi imprinting has taken place that brings out certain character traits once the human being is exposed to stimuli in the environment. The author, to support, but for the reader more important, to build his hypothesis, draws from an array of knowledge areas, including molecular biology, neurology, history and, of course, philosophy.
I find this book to be the most thrilling when after the extremely well written center section, the author goes on to apply his theory to the cause of interational conflict and how his explanation can be used to mold the human slate in a way that the environment makes conflict less likely to find ground to develop.
The idea itself is fascinating. Politics as only one factor that leads to war, balanced or in some cases supported by environmental stimuli that makes humans so much more likely to follow politicians willingly into war.
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