Born to Be Good

Born to Be Good

The Science of A Meaningful Life

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
2
Rate this:
A new examination of the surprising origins of human goodness.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393065121
039306512X
Branch Call Number: 155.232 Keltner 01/2009
Characteristics: xvi, 336 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

p
puzumaki
Oct 30, 2014

It's nice to consider we are born with goodness in us, but it's naive to say we are born to innately be good.

Take into consideration group mentality. The famous art exhibits that the artist allowed people to do whatever to her over six hours, how quickly it devolved.

People as individuals may have a balance of good and evil traits, but in groups the worst of those traits come out, and we are a social species.

As an aside, I would love to see us evolve away from tribe mentality (exclusionary), but we're looking at thousands of years of evolution.

g
ghreads
Jun 16, 2011

This book is based on the author’s belief that emotion is the source of a meaningful life. He describes scientific research that leads him to conclude that evolution has equipped us with a tendency towards the positive emotions and behaviours that allow us to live in cooperative societies. Our evolution is based more on “survival of the kindest” rather than “survival of the fittest”.

He discusses the “Jen Ratio” as a way of looking upon the relative balance of the good and uplifting versus the bad and cynical in life – a metric to measure the social well-being of an individual, marriage, community or culture. There is a detailed analysis of embarrassment, smiling, laughter, teasing, touch, love, compassion and awe.

The book is very interesting and provides much food for thought. The quality of the writing is good but not brilliant and there is a rather odd use of commas. Because I heard of the book when the author was interviewed on the CBC Radio program Tapestry, I assumed a very philosophical and spiritual approach to the subject. While there is certainly some of that, especially in the last 3 chapters, the focus (as indicated in the sub-title “The Science of a Meaningful Life”) is on the scientific research conducted by the author, his students and others. I personally found the conclusions reached as a result of the research more interesting than the detailed descriptions of the methodologies used but that is a personal preference. Although it was a little tedious at times, I am very glad I read the book – it provides a fascinating insight into what it means to be human and how society functions.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at My Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top