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Beyond revenge : the evolution of the forgiveness instinct

Author: Michael E McCullough
Publisher: San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass, ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Contrary to conventional wisdom, McCullough contends that the desire for revenge should not be likened to a "disease" or a "poison" that makes people do terrible things to each other. Instead, he argues, natural selection created our penchant for revenge because it helped our ancestors solve social dilemmas they encountered during human evolution. Revenge, according to McCullough, is a "problem" for us today  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael E McCullough
ISBN: 9780787977566 078797756X
OCLC Number: 174131550
Description: xix, 298 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: Three simple truths about revenge and forgiveness --
Putting vengeance and forgiveness back into human nature --
Revenge is a problem : counting the costs --
Revenge is a solution : three evolutionary hypotheses --
The retribution solution : the evidence for adaptation --
Family, friendship, and the functions of forgiveness --
The forgiveness instinct --
The forgiving brain --
To promote and to maintain friendly relations : making forgiveness happen --
From neurons to nations --
Divine forgiveness and righteous revenge --
Homo ignoscens.
Responsibility: Michael E. McCullough.
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Abstract:

Argues that the key to a forgiving is to understand the evolutionary forces that gave rise to these intimately human instincts and the social forces that activate them in human minds. Drawing on  Read more...

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"...this book will appeal to all those who wish to better understand forgiveness and how to engender it." (Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2008) '...hands out some startling and practical advice Read more...

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""Contrary to conventional wisdom, McCullough contends that the desire for revenge should not be likened to a "disease" or a "poison" that makes people do terrible things to each other. Instead, he argues, natural selection created our penchant for revenge because it helped our ancestors solve social dilemmas they encountered during human evolution. Revenge, according to McCullough, is a "problem" for us today because "it was a "solution" during our ancestral past. McCullough also debunks the misconception that forgiveness should be likened to an "antidote" or a "cure" for the desire for revenge. Instead, he argues, humans' capacity to forgive evolved because it helped our ancestors preserve relationships with genetic relatives and other valuable relationship partners. McCullough goes on to argue that when we encounter the social circumstances that activated the "forgiveness instinct" in the ancestral past, modern-day humans will be naturally inclined to forgive, often with less effort than we usually assume."--Jacket." ;
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