The goal of the conference is to initiate creative thinking towards stimulating and promoting excellence in research into the phenomenon and interpretation of altruistic love. The approach is highly integrative, linking the biological and social sciences with philosophical, ethical, and religious themes. Love includes a variety of concepts, and in particular the John Templeton Foundation and the Fetzer Institute are interested in genuine generosity and self-giving love. Many religious perspectives affirm in various and diverse ways that love is at the heart of being and that the ultimate reality or ultimate purpose of things is related to love. To explore this topic fully there needs to be an inclusion in the discussion and research of a broad range of concepts, including altruism, attachment, bonding, empathy, and others.
One aim of resulting research would be to better understand under what conditions, attitudes as well as behavior centered on the good of others might be fostered. The potential contribution of this to the improvement of the human condition is substantial. The following questions serve as a starting point for furthering the inquiry into this field of study:
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