I’ll be out of town tomorrow, so I saved up an interesting topic that we can get started on this week and continue at some point in the future.
Understanding our own social behavior, ethics, and morals is a monumental challenge. Human behavior is complex, to say the least. We can still learn a great deal about our own social conventions by examining the behavior of animals.
There have been a few articles (in Nature, Smithsonian Magazine, and online) recently that deal specifically with our tendency to identify altruism. Altruism, the act of helping others, is something that seems to be understood by human babies as young as 3 months. It’s fascinating to consider.
This article talks about a study and what it may imply about our own behavior. Have a look. I’m curious about what you’ve observed from your own pets or other animals. Do you think they understand altruism?