Empathy, Altruism & Agape:
PresentersItineraryRegistrationTempleton FoundationFetzer InstituteContact
October 1-3, 1999, John Templeton Foundation, Fetzer Institute
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Itinerary

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Templeton Foundation

Fetzer Institute

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The goal of the conference is to initiate creative thinking towards stimulating and promoting excellence in research into the phenomenon and interpretation of altruistic love. The approach is highly integrative, linking the biological and social sciences with philosophical, ethical, and religious themes. Love includes a variety of concepts, and in particular the John Templeton Foundation and the Fetzer Institute are interested in genuine generosity and self-giving love. Many religious perspectives affirm in various and diverse ways that love is at the “heart of being” and that the ultimate reality or ultimate purpose of things is related to love. To explore this topic fully there needs to be an inclusion in the discussion and research of a broad range of concepts, including altruism, attachment, bonding, empathy, and others.

One aim of resulting research would be to better understand under what conditions, attitudes as well as behavior centered on the good of others might be fostered. The potential contribution of this to the improvement of the human condition is substantial. The following questions serve as a starting point for furthering the inquiry into this field of study:

  • To what extent do human individuals and societies manifest behavior that is motivationally or consequentially altruistic?
  • What are the evolutionary origins and neurologic substrates for altruistic behavior?
  • What developmental processes foster or hinder altruistic attitudes and behavior in various stages of life from early childhood onwards?
  • What psychological, social, and cultural factors influence altruism and caring?
  • How do spiritual and religious experiences, beliefs, and practices influence altruistic attitudes and behavior?
  • How does the giving and receiving of altruistic love interact with personal well-being and health?
  • How can researchers from various disciplines collaborate to enhance this field of study?
  • Overall, is it possible to gain new insights which can be utilized to help people and their communities to better appreciate the significance and importance of love, and benefit from its expression as a lived reality?
John Templeton Foundation
c/o altruisticlove.org
Five Radnor Corporate Center
Suite 100
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087

Phone: (610) 687-8942
Fax: (610) 687-8961

General Info: altruism@templeton.org
Press Info: thompson@templeton.org

Please be sure to include your name, address and daytime telephone number in your correspondence.
Fetzer Institute
9292 West KL Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: 616-375-2000
Fax: 616-372-2163
www.fetzer.org

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