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Emotional amoral egoism is a neuro-chemically based theory of human naturedeveloped by the neuroscientist and philosopher Nayef Al-Rodhan and published in 2008[1]

In this, he argues that the enduring assumption that human behaviour is governed by innate morality and reason is at odds with the persistence of human deprivation, injustice, brutality, inequality and conflict.[2]

He draws on a wide range of philosophical, psychological and evolutionary approaches to human nature as well as neuroscientific research.

He argues that human behaviour is governed primarily by "emotional self-interest" and that the human mind is a "predisposed tabula rasa". Al-Rodhan argues that "most human beings are innately neither moral nor immoral but rather amoral and that circumstances and needs will determine the survival value of humankind's moral compass". He suggests that this has profound implications for the re-ordering of governance mechanisms at all levels with a strong emphasis on the role of society and the global system in relation to stability, security, peace, cooperation, justice, human security, identity construction, transcultural relations, conflict, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, morality and global governance.[3] Al-Rodhan’s theory of human nature challenges the views of Hobbes and Rousseau and lays the foundation for a hopeful and pragmatic approach. It also advocates that the moral compass of man can be influenced positively by constructive behaviors of the society and its various mechanisms and frameworks. He also proposes a concept he calls “Fear-Induced Pre-emptive aggression” and cautions us against being complacent about the virtues of human nature. This book is entitled: "emotional amoral egoism": A Neurophilosophical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications (Berlin, LIT, 2008).

See alsoEdit


  1. Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan, (2008).“emotional amoral egoism:” A Neurophilosophical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications Berlin: LIT.
  2. American Chronicle
  3. L'Occidentale

Further readingEdit

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