Caring Economics Conversations on Altruism and Compassion, Between Scientists, Economists, and the Dalai Lama

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/7/2015
  • Publisher: Picador

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Can the hyperambitious, bottom-line-driven practices of the global economy incorporate compassion into the pursuit of wealth? Or is economics driven solely by materialism and self-interest? In Caring Economics, experts consider these questions alongside the Dalai Lama in a wide-ranging, scientific-based discussion on economics and altruism.
Begun in 1987, the Mind and Life Institute arose out of a series of conferences held with the Dalai Lama and a range of scientists that sought to form a connection between the empiricism of contemporary scientific inquiry and the contemplative, compassion-based practices of Buddhism. Caring Economics is based on a conference held by the Mind and Life Institute in Zurich in which experts from all over the world gathered to discuss the possibility of having a global economy focused on compassion and altruism. Each chapter consists of a presentation by an expert in the field, followed by a discussion with the Dalai Lama in which he offers his response and his own unique insights on the subject.
In this provocative and inspiring book, learn how wealth doesn't need to be selfish, how in fact, empathy and compassion may be the path to a healthier world economy.

Author Biography

DR. TANIA SINGER is the director of the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany.

MATTHIEU RICARD is a French Buddhist monk who resides at Schechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal. He is the son of the late Jean-François Revel, a renowned French philosopher. He is the author of many bestselling titles, including The Monk and the Philosopher and The Quantum and the Lotus.

Table of Contents

His Holiness the Dalai Lama ix

Introduction: Toward a Caring Economics
Tania Singer, Matthieu Ricard, and Diego Hangartner 1

PART I: Scientific Research on Altruism and
Pro-Social Behavior 13

1. The Egoism-Altruism Debate:
A Psychological Perspective
Daniel Batson 15

2. Empathy and the Interoceptive Cortex
Tania Singer 27

3. The Neural Bases of Compassion
Richard Davidson 45

4. A Buddhist Perspective on Altruism
Matthieu Ricard 57

5. Biological Imperatives for Survival: Altruism
Joan Silk 63

PART II: Economic Research on Altruism and
Pro-Social Behavior 75

6. The Social Dilemma Experiment
Ernst Fehr 77

7. First Thoughts Toward a Buddhist Economics
John Dunne 85

8. The Economics of Happiness
Richard Layard 97

9. Why People Give to Charity
William Harbaugh 115

10. Altruistic Punishment and the Creation
of Public Goods
Ernst Fehr 125

PART III: Introducing Pro-Sociality into Economic
Systems 135

11. Profit with a Purpose
Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter 137

12. What Can Micro finance Do?
Arthur Vayloyan 147

13. The Barefoot College
Sanjit "Bunker" Roy 159

14. Compassionate Leadership
William George 175
Conclusion: Compassion Is Not a Luxury
Moderator: Joan Halifax 185

Notes 209
Acknowledgments 215
About the Mind and Life Institute 217
List of Contributors 221
Illustration Credits 227

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