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Vakoch D.A. (ed.) Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos

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Vakoch D.A. (ed.) Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos
Springer, 2014. — 329 p.
Extraterrestrial Altruism examines a basic assumption of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that extraterrestrials will be transmitting messages to us for our benefit. This question of whether extraterrestrials will be altruistic has become increasingly important in recent years as SETI scientists have begun contemplating transmissions from Earth to make contact.
Technological civilizations that transmit signals for the benefit of others, but with no immediate gain for themselves, certainly seem to be altruistic. But does this make biological sense? Should we expect altruism to evolve throughout the cosmos, or is this only wishful thinking? Is it dangerous to send messages to other worlds, as Stephen Hawking has suggested, or might humankind benefit from an exchange with intelligence elsewhere in the galaxy? Would extraterrestrial societies be based on different ethical principles, or would we see commonalities with Earthly notions of morality? Extraterrestrial Altruism explores these and related questions about the motivations of civilizations beyond Earth, providing new insights that are critical for SETI.
Chapters are authored by leading scholars from diverse disciplines—anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, cosmology, engineering, history of science, law, philosophy, psychology, public policy, and sociology. The book is carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute and professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The Foreword is by Frank Drake.
This interdisciplinary book will benefit everybody trying to understand whether evolution and ethics are unique to Earth, or whether they are built into the fabric of the universe.
Cosmic Evolution, Reciprocity, and Interstellar Tit for Tat (by Albert A. Harrison).
The Evolution of Altruism: Is Transmitting Dangerous?
Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Friends, Foes, or Just Curious? (by George Michael).
Eliciting Altruism While Avoiding Xenophobia: A Thought Experiment (by Jerome H. Barkow).
Predator—Prey Models and Contact Considerations (by Douglas Raybeck).
Harmful ETI Hypothesis Denied: Visiting ETIs Likely Altruists (by Harold A. Geller).
Altruism Toward Non-Humans: Lessons for Interstellar Communication (by Abhik Gupta).
Caring Capacity and Cosmocultural Evolution: Potential Mechanisms for Advanced Altruism (by Mark L. Lupisella).
The Precautionary Principle: Egoism, Altruism, and the Active SETI Debate (by Adam Korbitz).
Inferring Altruism
The Accidental Altruist: Inferring Altruism from an Extraterrestrial Signal (by Mark C. Langston).
Interstellar Intersubjectivity: The Significance of Shared Cognition for Communication, Empathy, and Altruism in Space (by David Dunér).
Other Minds, Empathy, and Interstellar Communication (by Tomislav Janovic).
Interspecies Altruism: Learning from Species on Earth (by Denise L. Herzing).
Universal Ethics and Law
Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Altruism (by Holmes Rolston III).
Kenotic Ethics and SETI: A Present-Day View (by George F. R. Ellis).
Altruism, Metalaw, and Celegistics: An Extraterrestrial Perspective on Universal Law-Making (by Adam Korbitz).
Representing Altruism
A Logic-Based Approach to Characterizing Altruism in Interstellar Messages (by Alexander Ollongren).
Equity and Democracy: Seeking the Common Good as a Common Ground for Interstellar Communication (by Yvan Dutil).
Patterns of Extraterrestrial Culture (by William Sims Bainbridge).
Evolutionary Perspectives on Interstellar Communication: Images of Altruism (by Alfred Kracher).
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