Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Emotional and Amoral Egoism" by Nayef Al-Rodhan Book Review

The enduring assumption that human behaviour is governed by innate morality and reason is at odds with the persistence of human deprivation, injustice, brutality, inequality and conflict. This book offers a fresh look at human nature and universal security by proposing a new general theory of human nature, "emotional amoral egoism", and a specific theory of human motivation that draws on a wide range of philosophical, psychological and evolutionary approaches to human nature as well as neuroscientific research. It argues that human behaviour is governed primarily by emotional self-interest and that the human mind is a predisposed tabula rasa. The author argues that most human beings are innately neither moral nor immoral but rather amoral. Circumstances will determine the survival value of humankind's moral compass. This insight has profound implications for the re-ordering of governance mechanisms at all levels with a strong emphasis on the role of society and the global system. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the substrates of human nature and its universal security implications in relation to identity, conflict,
ethnocentrism, xenophobia, morality and global governance.

Dr. Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan is Senior Scholar in Geostrategy and Director of the Programme on the Geopolitical Implications of Globalisation and Transnational Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Nayef Al-Rodhan is a Philosopher, Neuroscientist and Geostrategist.
He is a Senior Member of St. Antony's College at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom and Senior Scholar in Geostrategy and Director of the Geopolitics of Globalisation and Transnational Security Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.

He holds an M.D. and a Ph.D, and trained in Neurosurgery/Neuroscience research at the Mayo Clinic, Yale University and Harvard University. He founded the Neurotechnology programme, headed Translational Research and founded the Laboratory for Cellular Neurosurgery and Neurosurgical Technology at MGH, Harvard. He was on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, has published extensively on Neuroscience research and won several research prizes. These include: The Sir James Spence Prize; The Gibb Prize; The Farquhar-Murray Prize; The American Association of Neurological Surgeon Prize (twice); The Meninger Prize; The Annual Resident Prize of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons; The Young Investigator Prize of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons; The Annual Fellowship Prize of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

My Take:
The book is one that I would of never thought of reading. The Emotional and Amoral Egoism will open your mind and make you think long and hard. I never thought about what makes us humans the way we are. Even though the book was like reading a text book in school I do feel enlightened after reading it.

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