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Non-instrumental belief is largely founded on singularity1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2010

George Ainslie
151 Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320.


The radical evolutionary step that divides human decision-making from that of nonhumans is the ability to excite the reward process for its own sake, in imagination. Combined with hyperbolic over-valuation of the present, this ability is a potential threat to both the individual's long term survival and the natural selection of high intelligence. Human belief is intrinsically “unfounded” or under-founded, which may or may not be adaptive.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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