Mind and Life: Caring Economics

Publication Date:

April 2015



Original language and publisher

English | Allary Editions

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

World English (Picador/MacMillan, at auction)
Germany (rights reverted)
South Korea (Munhakdongne, at auction)
Spanish (Spain) (Kairos)
Italy (EIFIS)
Japan (rights reverted)


Economics, Religion & Spirituality

Foreign Covers

Knaus Verlag

Mind and Life: Caring Economics

An intriguing report on unusual objectives pursued through outreach and debate. — Kirkus Reviews

Conversations on Altruism and Compassion, between Scientists, Economists, and the Dalai Lama

Preface by His Holiness The Dalai Lama — Includes 31 images (world rights cleared) — Table of Contents below

Edited by Tania Singer, director of the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and international best-selling author and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard.

A collection of internationally renowned scientists and economists in dialogue with the Dalai Lama, addressing the need for a more altruistic world economy based around the principle of compassion.

Can the hyper-ambitious, bottom-line-driven practices of the global economy incorporate compassion into the pursuit of wealth? Or is economics driven solely by materialism and self-interest? In Caring Economics, experts consider these questions alongside the Dalai Lama in a wide-ranging, scientific-based discussion on economics and altruism.

Begun in 1987, the Mind & Life Institute arose out of a series of conferences held with the Dalai Lama and a range of scientists that sought to form a connection between the empiricism of contemporary scientific inquiry and the contemplative, compassion-based practices of Buddhism. Caring Economics is based on a conference held by the Mind & Life Institute in Zurich, in which experts from all over the world gathered to discuss the possibility of having a global economy focused on compassion and altruism. Each chapter consists of a presentation by experts in the fields of economics, neuroscience, psychology, as well as Buddhist thinkers, followed by a discussion with the Dalai Lama, in which he offers his response and his own unique insights on the subject. Topics include compassionate leadership, the effective use of charity, and whether there is a neurological basis for compassion.

In this provocative and inspiring book, learn how wealth doesn’t need to be selfish, that in fact, empathy and compassion may be the path to a healthier world economy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward a Caring Economics (Tania Singer, Matthieu Ricard, and Diego Hangartner)

Part I: Scientific Research on Altruistic and Pro-Social Behavior
Chapter 1: The Egoism-Altruism Debate: A Psychological Perspective (Dan Batson)
Chapter 2: Empathy and the Interoceptive Cortex (Tania Singer)
Chapter 3: The Neural Bases of Compassion (Richard Davidson)
Chapter 4: A Buddhist Perspective on Altruism (Matthieu Ricard)
Chapter 5: Biological Imperatives for Survival: Altruism Reconsidered (Joan Silk)

Part II: Economic Research on Altruistic and Pro-Social Behavior
Chapter 6: The Social Dilemma Experiment (Ernst Fehr)
Chapter 7: First Thoughts Toward a Buddhist Economics (John Dunne)
Chapter 8: The Economics of Happiness (Richard Layard)
Chapter 9: Why People Give to Charity (William Harbaugh)
Chapter 10: Altruistic Punishment and the Creation of Public Goods (Ernst Fehr)

Part III: Introducing Pro-Sociality into Economic Systems
Chapter 11: Profit with a Purpose (Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter)
Chapter 12: What Can Microfinance Do? (Arthur Vayloyan)
Chapter 13: The Barefoot College (Bunker Roy)
Chapter 14: Compassionate Leadership (William George) Conclusion: Compassion is Not a Luxury (Moderator: Joan Halifax)

Appendix I: Acknowledgements
Appendix II: About the Mind and Life Institute
Appendix III: List of Contributors

Foreign Covers

Knaus Verlag