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Social Science for EFNV Nonviolence Bibliography:

Science today offers much support for nonviolence as an inherited, but largely undeveloped capacity of human nature. Even the very foundation of modern science, physics, supports nonviolence theory in at least a suggestive way. Indeed it seems that for principled nonviolence to take effect more largely in the world a paradigm shift must occur, and is occurring, from a worldview of materialism, competition, and violence to one of a consciousness-based reality leading, in turn, to the recognition of cooperation as an evolutionary force and the prevalence of nonviolence in human affairs. We might schematize the great change very simply as:

Paradigm (worldview) Physics Life Sciences Human Behavior
Dominant today matter-based competition-driven today's world
Emerging based on consciousness, energy and then matter primarily based on cooperation world of peace

Whatever may be the significance for life in general of the revolutionary changes modern physics has undergone from a ‘classical’ Newtonian model based on matter and reductionist in method to a ‘new’ model emerging from relativity, quantum physics and related theories, scientific developments that are closer to home have been equally revolutionary for the long-prevailing view of the human being as a competitive fragment doomed to compete for scarce resources in a meaningless universe. The following resources and categories of resources illustrate how the new sciences support nonviolence. Note that the lives of some scientists, like Barbara McClintock, can be role models for students.

Non-material physics

Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics. New York: Anchor Doubleday, 1985. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Not always an easy read, but can give you the main implications for interconnectedness, etc.

New Biology

Augros, Robert and Stanciu, Geoge. The New Biology: Discovering the Wisdom in Nature. New York and London: Shambala, 1988. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Excellent overview of new science and its implications.

Clark, Mary E. In Search of Human Nature. London: Routledge, 2002. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

A biologist turned conflict-resolution specialist delineates the case for bonding, autonomy, and meaning as high-end human needs, and teaches much more about the forces of cooperation and sociability in nature.

McClintock, Barbara(1902-1992, Nobel Prize, 1983) see "The Barbara McClintock Papers" and see Keller, Evelyn Fox. A Feeling for the Organism. New York: Henry Holt: W.H. Freeman, 2003, c1983. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Exerpt: “Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. . .One must await the right time for conceptual change.” Life is — we are — not genetically determined.

Lipton, Dr. Bruce: “Our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs create the conditions of our body and the external world.”

Stanford University conference on Buddhism and modern science, 2004 video recordings.

Evolution of behavior

The Seville Statement on Violence is the definitive and now classic rebuttal of the “innate aggression” argument that we are doomed to be violent by our genetic inheritance. It was republished in the American Psychologist, October 1990, 45:10, 1167-1168, and can be read online.

De Waal, F. B. M. Peacemaking Among Primates. Cambridge, MA, Harvard, 1989. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Other books by this excellent researcher and writer are equally useful.

Altruism, Forgiveness and Compassion

Batson, C Daniel; Ahmad, Nadia; Lishner, David A; Tsang, Jo-Ann, Snyder, C. R. (ED); Lopez, Shane J. (ED). (2002). "Empathy and altruism". Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 485-498). London, Oxford University Press. xviii, 829 pp. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Empathy, as demonstrated by much of Batson's research, is contingent upon effective ability to take the perspective of the other.

Cialdini, Robert B; Brown, Stephanie L; Lewis, Brian P; Luce, Carol; et al. "Reinterpreting the empathy-altruism relationship: When one into one equals oneness." Journal of Personality & Social Psychology. Vol 73(3), Sep 1997, pp. 481-49

Compilation of several studies on altruistic behavior and oneness, defined as “perceived self-other overlap.”

Combs, Allan. Cooperation: Beyond the Age of Competition. Philadelphia: Gordon & Breach, 1992. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Superb overview of cooperation, including the math. Essays by Riane Eisler, many others.

MacNair, Rachel M. Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing. Praeger (under Greenwood), 2002. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

“Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress” (PITS) is the form of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms caused not by being a victim or rescuer in trauma, but by being an active participant in causing trauma. The idea of applying the post-trauma symptoms to those who kill is obvious to most peace activists, but has been something of a blind spot in the scholarship on trauma.”

For Dr. MacNair’s work on the “consistent life ethic,” see http://www.consistent-life.org/books.html.

McCullough, Michael E., Kenneth I. Pargament, and Carl E. Thoresen. Forgiveness: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Guilford Press, 2000. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Schwartz, S. H., Melech, G., Lehmann, A., Burgess, S., Harris, M., & Owens, V. (2001). "Extending the cross-cultural validity of the theory of basic human values with a different method of measurement." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 519-542.

The authors present research to support their contention that there are basic values understood universally across cultures: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security. Several of these values (principally universalism, self-direction, benevolence, and security) are central to a culture of non-violence.

Staub,Ervin. “The Roots of Altruism and Heroic Rescue,” Article 14208, Section: BOOK WORLD. Issue Date: July 1988: pp.393-401.

The evidence suggests to me that people who assist others come to a more positive view of those they help and develop a greater concern for their welfare. Also, their self-concept changes. Helpers can ... become 'good' fanatics.

Physiological Dimensions of Empathy, etc.

Angier, Natalie. “Why We’re So Nice: We’re Wired to Cooperate,” The New York Times, July 23, 2002. The original study is James K. Rilling, et al, “A Neural Basis for Social Cooperation,” Neuron, Vol. 35, 395–405, July 18, 2002.

(Note: we do not believe that the biological corollary is the “basis” of human experience, as the media and some scientists assume).

Davidson, R.J. Empathy-related emotional responses, altruism, and their socialization. In Davidson R.J. and Eisenberg N. (Eds.) Visions of compassion : Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Davidson summarizes the research to date (mostly self-generated) which uses neuroscientific methodologies to understand compassion. Although he provides evidence toward locating compassion and positive affect in the brain, Davidson himself acknowledges the dearth of empirical research on the subject.

Eisenberg, N. Empathy-related emotional responses, altruism, and their socialization. In Davidson R.J. and Eisenberg N. (Eds.) Visions of compassion : Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble]

Eisenberg catalogs her several decades of research on the relationship between empathy and altruism in children. She also discusses how the socialization process in different environments relates to the development of prosocial behavior.

Winerman, Lea. “The Mind’s Mirror,” Monitor on Psychology 36.9 (2005): 49-50.

This issue of the Monitor provides a handy introduction to “Mirror Neurons” in the brain that would seem to be the physiological corrolates of empathy.

Zhou, Q., Valiente, C., & Eisenberg, N. (2003). “Empathy and its measurement.” In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures (pp. pp. 269-284). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

A recent review of research on empathy to date. The article focuses on several different methods (behavior, physiology, self report) for demonstrating the empirical distinction between sympathy (other focused) and personal distress (self focused).

Games Theory

Bass, Thomas A. “Forgiveness Math.” Discover 14.5 (1993): pp. 62-67.

Good overview of history and conclusions of game theory, showing that forgiveness and cooperation 'work' as robust conflict strategies.

Click here for a UCLA study on the evolutionary roots of altruism.