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We argue that the capacity to live life to the benefit of self and others originates in the defining properties of life. These lead to two modes of cognition; the coping mode that is preoccupied with the satisfaction of pressing needs and the co-creation mode that aims at the realization of a world where pressing needs occur less frequently. We have used the Rule of Conservative Changes – stating that new functions can only scaffold on evolutionary older, yet highly stable functions – to predict that the interplay of these two modes define a number of core functions in psychology associated with moral behavior.
We explore this prediction with five examples reflecting different theoretical approaches to human cognition and action selection. We conclude the paper with the observation that science is currently dominated by the coping mode and that the benefits of the co-creation mode may be necessary to generate realistic prospects for a modern synthesis in the sciences of the mind.
General news | 2017-12-12
See video from eminar with Professor Rashid Sumaila, one of the world’s most innovative researchers on the future of the oceans
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being
Research news | 2017-11-23
Centre science director well established among world’s most top-cited and influential scientists
Research news | 2017-11-21
Large-scale changes in Arctic marine food web can be expected within 50 years, some good, but in the long run several critical