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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.
Research news | 2018-08-14
New index reveals how climate risks are reinforced by global connectivity, leaving no country shielded from impact
General news | 2018-08-14
Event, Tuesday 11 September 2018 in partnership with ICF and the UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R. A Global Climate Action Summit affiliate event
Research news | 2018-08-13
New analysis reveals connections between tax havens and resource degradation in both the Amazon rainforest and global fisheries
Research news | 2018-08-06
Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it