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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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Science and Religion on the Nature of Love

Science and Religion on the Nature of Love

(p.335) 19 Science and Religion on the Nature of Love
Altruism and Altruistic Love

Don S. Browning

Oxford University Press

Foundationalism sets aside the possible truths of all aspects of a culture's traditions and assumes that all scientific and moral truth will be discovered and gradually assembled on the basis of sure and certain beginning points. The terms agape, eros, and caritas are translated in English as “love,” but they have had historically quite different meanings. This emerging congruence between religious and evolutionary perspectives on love should not blind us to important remaining issues between the two perspectives. The naturalism that undergirds research guided by evolutionary theory is understandable and to be expected. The conflicting worldviews of evolutionary psychology and Christian theology should be relativized for the purposes of a more general public philosophy. Evolutionary psychology should realize that on the grounds of its discipline alone, it can neither confirm nor deny any particular worldview, even its own heuristic naturalism.

Keywords:   foundationism, agape, eros, caritas, love, evolutionary psychology, Christian theology

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