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Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. This idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. Some philosophies such as Objectivism argue that altruism is a moral vice. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness. Altruism is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have an ethical obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... This article is about the economic and philosophical concept. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... Parable of the Good Samaritan The ethic of reciprocity or The Golden Rule is a fundamental moral value which simply means It is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, though it is not without its critics. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ... Selfishness denotes the precedence given in thought or deed to self interests and self concerns, the act of placing ones own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. ...

Altruism can be distinguished from a feeling of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, God, a king), a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, patriotism etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition. (UTC):This page is about loyalty as faithfulness to a cause. ... Duty is a term loosely appliedDuty to any action (or course of action) whichDutyDuty is regarded as morally incumbent, apart from personal likes and dislikes or any external compulsion. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Louis XIV, king of France and Navarre (Painting by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701). ... Defence of the fatherland is a commonplace of patriotism: The statue in the courtyard of École polytechnique, Paris, commemorating the students involvement in defending France against the 1814 invasion of the Coalition. ...

The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought, and has more recently become a topic for psychologists (especially evolutionary psychology researchers), sociologists, evolutionary biologists, and ethologists. While ideas about altruism from one field can have an impact on the other fields, the different methods and focuses of these fields lead to different perspectives on altruism. Researches on altruism were sparked in particular after the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964,[1] who was stabbed during half an hour, with passive witnesses withholding themselves from helping her. Philosophy (from the Greek words philos and sophia meaning love of wisdom) is understood in different ways historically and by different philosophers. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ... A psychologist is a researcher and/or a practitioner of psychology. ... Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, that is, as the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. ... This article provides a list of noted sociologists and major contributors to sociology (even if they did not primarily work as sociologists): Contents: Top - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z... Evolutionary biology is a subfield of biology concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, i. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Catherine Susan Genovese (July 7, 1935[1] — March 13, 1964), commonly known as Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. ...


Altruism in social sciences

Main article: Altruism (ethics)

If one performs an act beneficial to others with a view to gaining some personal benefit, then it isn't an altruistically motivated act. There are several different perspectives on how "benefit" (or "interest") should be defined. A material gain (for example, money, a physical reward, etc.) is clearly a form of benefit, while others identify and include both material and immaterial gains (affection, respect, happiness, satisfaction etc.) as being philosophically identical benefits. Altruism is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have an ethical obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. ...

According to psychological egoism, while people can exhibit altruistic behavior, they cannot have altruistic motivations. Psychological egoists would say that while they might very well spend their lives benefitting others with no material benefit (or a material net loss) to themselves, their most basic motive for doing so is always to further their own interests. For example, it would be alleged that the foundational motive behind a person acting this way is to advance their own psychological well-being ("good feelings"). Psychological egoism is the view that humans are always motivated by rational self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism. ... Self-interest can refer to any of the following concepts: Egoism Selfishness Ethical egoism Psychological egoism Individualism Objectivist ethics Hedonism Epicureanism Enlightened self-interest This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ...

The problem (known in philosophy as the "problem of love") arises from an analysis of the human will and is often debated among Thomistic philosophers. The problem centers on Thomas Aquinas's understanding that human expressions of love are always based partly on love of self and similitude of being: “Even when a man loves in another what he loves not in himself, there is a certain likeness of proportion: because as the latter is to that which is loved in him, so is the former to that which he loves in himself.”[2] Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... Aquinas redirects here. ...

The French philosopher Pierre Rousselot (1878-1915) located the philosophical problem in terms of a pure "ecstatic" or totally selfless love versus an egotistic, more self-interested love, beginning his examination from Aristotle's text (Nicomachean Ethics, Book 9): "The friendly feelings that we bear for another have arisen from the friendly feelings that we bear for ourselves".[3] Nicomachean Ethics Nicomachean Ethics (sometimes spelled Nichomachean), or Ta Ethika, is a work by Aristotle on virtue and moral character which plays a prominent role in defining Aristotelian ethics. ...

Relations between altruist acts and self-interest were a common problem among French 17th century moralists, examined in particular by La Rochefoucauld, as well as Jansenists such as Pascal and Nicole. These authors claimed that all acts of generosity were in fact acts of vanity, a stance later supported by Mandeville. La Rochefoucauld could thus write, in his first Maxim: This article is about the French noble and writer de La Rochefoucauld. ... Jansenism was a branch of Christian philosophy founded by Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), a Flemish theologian. ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... Pierre Nicole (1625 - November 16, 1695), one of the most distinguished of the French Jansenists, was the son of a provincial barrister, and was born at Chartres. ... For other uses, see Vanity (disambiguation). ... Mandeville may refer to any of the following: People Bernard Mandeville, philosopher Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st Earl of Essex Geoffrey de Mandeville, 2nd Earl of Essex Sir John Mandeville, French language author William de Mandeville, 3rd Earl of Essex Places Mandeville, Jamaica Mandeville, Louisiana, United States Mandeville, Normandy, France Mandeville...

"What we call virtues are often just a collection of casual actions and selfish interests which chance or our own industry manages to arrange [in a certain way]. It is not always from valor that men are valiant, or from chastity that women are chaste."

This classical theory, which gave rise to rational egoism, was harshly opposed by Adam Smith in his Theory Of Moral Sentiments: Rational egoism is the philosophical view that it is always in accordance with reason to pursue ones own interests. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... The Theory of Moral Sentiments written by Adam Smith in 1759, was one of the most important works in the theory of capitalism. ...

"It is the great fallacy of Dr Mandeville's book to represent every passion as wholly vicious, which is so in any degree and in any direction. It is thus that he treats every thing as vanity which has any reference either to what are, or to what ought to be, the sentiments of others; and it is by means of this sophistry that he establishes his favourite conclusion, that private vices are public benefits.[4]"

Critics of this theory conflating altruism with vanity and self-interest often reject it on the grounds that it's non-falsifiable; in other words, it is impossible to prove or disprove because immaterial gains such as a "good feelings" cannot be measured or proven to exist in all people performing altruistic acts. Psychological egoism has also been accused of using circular logic: "If a person willingly performs an act, that means he derives personal enjoyment from it; therefore, people only perform acts that give them personal enjoyment". This particular statement is circular because its conclusion is identical to its hypothesis (it assumes that people only perform acts that give them personal enjoyment, and concludes that people only perform acts that give them personal enjoyment). Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. ... Begging the question, in modern popular usage, is often used synonymously for raising the question. However the original meaning is quite different: it described a type of logical fallacy (also called petitio principii) in which the evidence given for a proposition as much needs to be proved as the proposition...

In common parlance, altruism usually means helping another person without expecting material reward from that or other persons, although it may well entail the "internal" benefit of a "good feeling," sense of satisfaction, self-esteem, fulfillment of duty (whether imposed by a religion or ideology or simply one's conscience), or the like. In this way one need not speculate on the motives of the altruist in question.

Humans are not exclusively altruistic towards family members, previous co-operators or potential future allies, but can be altruistic towards people they don't know and will never meet. For example, some humans donate to international charities and volunteer their time to help society's less fortunate. It can however be argued that an individual would contribute to a charity to gain respect or stature within his/her own community. This article is about charitable organizations. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ...

Altruism and game theory

It may strain plausibility to claim that these altruistic deeds are done in the hope of a return favor. Influenced by the consequentialist perspective of utilitarianism, the game theory analysis of this 'just in case' strategy, where the principle would be 'always help everyone in case you need to pull in a favor in return', is a decidedly non-optimal strategy, where the net expenditure of effort is far greater than the net profit when it occasionally pays off. Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ... For other uses, see Game theory (disambiguation) and Game (disambiguation). ...

According to some[who?], it is difficult to believe that these behaviors are solely explained as indirect selfish rationality, be it conscious or unconscious. Mathematical formulations of kin selection, along the lines of the prisoner's dilemma, are helpful as far as they go; but what a game-theoretic explanation glosses over is the fact that altruistic behavior can be attributed to that apparently mysterious phenomenon, the conscience. One recent suggestion, proposed by the philosopher Daniel Dennett, was initially developed when considering the problem of so-called 'free riders' in the tragedy of the commons, a larger-scale version of the prisoner's dilemma. Rationality as a term is related to the idea of reason, a word which following Websters may be derived as much from older terms referring to thinking itself as from giving an account or an explanation. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... This article contains mathematical terminology from game theory, which should not be confused with the common usage. ... François Chifflart (1825-1901), The Conscience (after Victor Hugo) Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action. ... Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... The Tragedy of the Commons is a type of social trap, often economic, that involves a conflict over resources between individual interests and the common good. ... This article contains mathematical terminology from game theory, which should not be confused with the common usage. ...

In game theory terms, a free rider is an agent who draws benefits from a cooperative society without contributing. In a one-to-one situation, free riding can easily be discouraged by a tit-for-tat strategy. But in a larger-scale society, where contributions and benefits are pooled and shared, they can be incredibly difficult to shake off. In linguistics, a grammatical agent is an entity that carries out an action. ... Tit for tat is a highly effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoners dilemma. ...

Cooperative agents interact with each other, each contributing resources and each drawing on the common good. Now imagine a rogue free rider, an agent who draws a favor ("you scratch my back") and later refuses to return it. The problem is that free riding is always going to be beneficial to individuals at cost to society. How can well-behaved cooperative agents avoid being cheated? Over many generations, one obvious solution is for cooperators to evolve the ability to spot potential free riders in advance and refuse to enter into reciprocal arrangements with them. Then, the canonical free rider response is to evolve a more convincing disguise, fooling cooperators into cooperating after all. This can lead to an evolutionary arms races, with ever-more-sophisticated disguises and ever-more-sophisticated detectors. Look up rogue in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In the analyses of economics and political science, free riders are actors who take more than their fair share of the benefits or do not shoulder their fair share of the costs of their use of a resource, involvement in a project, etc. ... In social psychology, reciprocity refers to in-kind positive or negative responses of individuals towards the actions of others. ... Deception is providing intentionally misleading information to others. ... An evolutionary arms race is an evolutionary struggle between a predator species and its prey (including parasitism) that is said to resemble an arms race. ...

In this evolutionary arms race, how best might one convince comrades that one really is a genuine cooperator, not a free rider in disguise? One answer is by actually making oneself a genuine cooperator, by erecting psychological barriers to breaking promises, and by advertising this fact to everyone else. In other words, a good solution is for organisms to evolve things that everyone knows will force them to be cooperators - and to make it obvious that they've evolved these things. According to this theory, evolution will thus produce organisms who are sincerely moral and who wear their hearts on their sleeves; in short, evolution will give rise to the phenomenon of conscience.

This theory, combined with ideas of kin selection and the one-to-one sharing of benefits, may explain how a blind process can produce a genuinely non-cynical form of altruism that gives rise to the human conscience. In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ...

Critics of such technical game theory analysis point out that it appears to forget that human beings are rational and emotional. To presume an analysis of human behavior without including human rationale or emotion is necessarily unrealistically narrow, and treats human beings as if they are mere machines, sometimes called Homo economicus. Another objection is that often people donate anonymously, so that it is impossible to determine if they really did the altruistic act (compare with Kant's affirmation that since motive determines the moral nature of an act, and that none can know for sure which motive was behind an act, therefore it is impossible to know if one single moral act ever existed). Homo economicus, or Economic man, is the concept in some economic theories of man (that is, a human) as a rational and self-interested actor who desires wealth, avoids unnecessary labor, and has the ability to make judgments towards those ends. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... Look up motive in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Beginning with an understanding that rational human beings benefit from living in a benign universe, logically it follows that particular human beings may gain substantial emotional satisfaction from acts which they perceive to make the world a better place.

Altruism in morality and politics

Altruists may be divided in two broad groups[citation needed]: Those who believe altruism is a matter of personal choice (and therefore selfishness can and should be tolerated - ethical egoism even supports egoism as a moral stance, denying altruism any value), and those who believe that altruism is a moral ideal which should be embraced, if possible, by all human beings. Ethical egoism is belief that one ought to do what is in ones own self-interest, although a distinction should be made between what is really in ones self-interest and what is only apparently so (see psychological egoism). ...

A prominent example of the former branch of altruist political thought is Lysander Spooner, who, in Natural Law, writes: Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist political philosopher, abolitionist, and legal theorist of the 19th century. ...

"Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will, perform them."

Since Aristotle's classical distinction of regimes made in Politics, III, altruism is often held to be the kind of ethic that should guide the actions of politicians and other people in positions of power. Such people are usually expected to set their own interests aside and serve the populace. When they do not, they may be criticized as defaulting on what is believed to be an ethical obligation to place the interests of others above their own. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Aristotles Politics (Greek Πολιτικά) is a work of political philosophy. ...

Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism, argued that altruism is immoral because self-sacrifice is fundamentally incompatible with the objective requirements of human life. She defined sacrifice as the exchange of something of superior value for something of inferior value. Rand argued that the fundamental moral value to a living entity was that entity's own life, whose survival and flourishing depends upon the self-interested pursuit, not selfless renunciation, of values. Without value achievement there would be no living entities. As the universe follows consistent and absolute laws and living beings must take certain actions in accordance with their biological natures to survive, she argued, the moral code cannot be arbitrary but must follow a rational framework.[5] Ayn Rand (IPA: , February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (Russian: ), was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ...

Sacrifice according to Rand is the worst kind of moral transgression as it fundamentally undermines the basic principle of a living entity: the optimization toward something better and not something worse. She argued that if altruism as an expression of self-sacrifice were universally and consistently applied, humankind would not remain in existence for long.[5]

Altruism and deep ecology

Norwegian Philosopher Arne Næss, a proponent of deep ecology, has suggested that the narrow concept of egoic self implies that all acts of "doing good" are acts of altruism, whereas, through a larger concept of the self-actualised "ecological self", in which it is the interconnectedness within progressively larger wholes, ultimately incorporating the whole of life (see Gaia hypothesis), means that our self interest ultimately requires the flourishing and well-being of the whole of life itself. This concept, similar in some respects to the land ethic of Aldo Leopold, sets the concept of Altruism within the widest possible boundary of moral concern.[6] Arne Dekke Eide Næss (born January 27, 1912) is widely regarded as the foremost Norwegian philosopher of the 20th century[1], and is the founder of deep ecology. ... Deep ecology is a recent branch of ecological philosophy (ecosophy) that considers humankind as an integral part of its environment. ... eGO is a company that builds electric motor scooters which are becoming popular for urban transportation and vacation use. ... Maslows hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. ... Ecological self is central to the school of Experiential Deep Ecology, which, based on the work of Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss, argues that through the process of self actualisation, one transcends the nations of the individuated egoic self and arrives at a position of an ecological self. ... For other uses, see Gaia. ... Environmental ethics is theory and practice about appropriate concern for, values in, and duties to the natural world. ... Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 - April 21, 1948) was a United States ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. ...

Altruism in ethology and evolutionary biology

In the science of ethology (the study of animal behavior), and more generally in the study of social evolution, altruism refers to behavior by an individual that increases the fitness of another individual while decreasing the fitness of the actor.[citation needed] Researchers on alleged altruist behaviours among animals have been ideologically opposed to the social darwinist concept of the "survival of the fittest", under the name of "survival of the nicest"—the latter being globally compatible, however, with darwinist' theory of evolution. Insistence on such cooperative behaviours between animals was first exposed by the Russian zoologist and anarchist Peter Kropotkin in his 1902 book, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. Altruism is a well-documented animal behaviour, which appears most obviously in kin relationships but may also be evident amongst wider social groups. ... The evolutionary ethic holds that the ultimate goal of human life is to maximize total creativity. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... For other uses, see Survival of the fittest (disambiguation). ... Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... Prince Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: ) (December 9, 1842–February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society free from central government. ...

Recent developments in game theory (look into ultimatum game) have provided some explanations for apparent altruism, as have traditional evolutionary analyses. Among the proposed mechanisms are: For other uses, see Game theory (disambiguation) and Game (disambiguation). ... The Ultimatum game is an experimental economics game in which two parties interact anonymously and only once, so reciprocation is not an issue. ...

The study of altruism was the initial impetus behind George R. Price's development of the Price equation which is a mathematical equation used to study genetic evolution. An interesting example of altruism is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body. Social behavior and altruism share many similarities to the interactions between the many parts (cells, genes) of an organism, but are distinguished by the ability of each individual to reproduce indefinitely without an absolute requirement for its neighbors. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of it. ... Many models of human behavior in the social sciences assume that humans can be reasonably approximated or described as rational entities, especially as conceived by rational choice theory. ... Herbert Alexander Simon (June 15, 1916 – February 9, 2001) was an American political scientist whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, public administration, economics, management, and philosophy of science and a professor, most notably, at Carnegie Mellon University. ... François Chifflart (1825-1901), The Conscience (after Victor Hugo) Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... Meat Eater ant colony swarming Fire ants Eusociality is the phenomenon of reproductive specialization found in some animals. ... The Selfish Gene is a controversial book by Richard Dawkins published in 1976. ... For other uses, see Meme (disambiguation). ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... The handicap principle is an idea proposed by the Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi. ... In social psychology, reciprocity refers to in-kind positive or negative responses of individuals towards the actions of others. ... For other uses, see Reputation (disambiguation). ... George R. Price (1922 - January 6, 1975) was a American population geneticist. ... The Price equation (also known as Prices equation) is a covariance equation which is a mathematical description of evolution and natural selection. ... Typical orders Protostelia Protosteliida Myxogastria Liceida Echinosteliida Trichiida Stemonitida Physarida Dictyostelia Dictyosteliida Slime (or slime mold) is a broad term often referring to roughly six groups of Eukaryotes. ... Families & Genera Dictyosteliidae     Dictyostelium     Polysphondylium     Coenonia Actyosteliidae     Acytostelium The dictyostelids are a group of cellular slime moulds. ... Amoeba (Chaos diffluens) Foraminiferan shells Heliozoan (Actinophrys sol) Amoeboids are cells that move or feed by means of temporary projections, called pseudopods (false feet). ...

Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health and LABS-D'Or Hospital Network (J.M.) provided the first evidence for the neural bases of altruistic giving in normal healthy volunteers, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in October, 2006,[8] they showed that both pure monetary rewards and charitable donations activated the mesolimbic reward pathway, a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food and sex. However, when volunteers generously placed their interests of others before their own by making charitable donations, another brain circuit was selectively activated: the subgenual cortex/septal region. These structures are intimately related to social attachment and bonding in other species. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.[9] National Institutes of Health Building 50 at NIH Clinical Center - Building 10 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the United States Ministry of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. ... Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the use of MRI to measure the haemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. ... The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, usually referred to as PNAS, is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. ... The mesolimbic pathway is one of the neural pathways in the brain that link the ventral tegmentum in the midbrain to the nucleus accumbens in the limbic system. ...

A new study by Samuel Bowles at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, US, is seen by some as breathing new life into the model of group selection for Altruism, known as "Survival of the nicest". Bowles conducted a genetic analysis of contemporary foraging groups, including Australian aboriginals, native Siberian Inuit populations and indigenous tribal groups in Africa. It was found that hunter-gatherer bands of up to 30 individuals were considerably more closely related than was previously thought. Under these conditions, thought to be similar to those of the middle and upper Paleolithic, altruism towards other group-members would improve the overall fitness of the group. Samuel Bowles is an American economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught courses on microeconomics and the theory of institutions. ... The Santa Fe Institute (or SFI) is a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems in Santa Fe, New Mexico founded by George Cowan, David Pines, Stirling Colgate, Murray Gell-Mann, Nick Metropolis, Herb Anderson, Peter A. Carruthers, and Richard Slansky in 1984 to study complex... Official language(s) None Spoken language(s) English 68. ... In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the fitness of individuals within that group. ... Aboriginal Flag Indigenous Australians are the people who lived in the Australia and its nearby islands before the arrival of European settlers in 1788, and who continue to live there as minority peoples. ... Siberian federal subjects of Russia Siberia (Russian: Сиби́рь, common English transliterations: Sibir, Sibir; possibly from the Mongolian for the calm land) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting all of northern Asia. ... For other uses, see Inuit (disambiguation). ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ...

If an individual defended the group but was killed, any genes that the individual shared with the overall group would still be passed on. Early customs such as food sharing or monogamy could have levelled out the “cost” of altruistic behaviour, in the same way that income taxes redistribute income in society. He assembled genetic, climactic, archaeological, ethnographic and experimental data to examine the cost-benefit relationship of human cooperation in ancient populations. In his model, members of a group bearing genes for altruistic behaviour pay a "tax" by limiting their reproductive opportunities to benefit from sharing food and information, thereby increasing the average fitness of the group as well as their inter-relatedness. Bands of altruistic humans would then act together to gain resources from other groups at this challenging time in history.[10]. Faithfulness redirects here. ...

Altruist theories in evolutionary biology were contested by Amotz Zahavi, the inventor of the signal theory and its correlative, the handicap principle, based mainly on his observations of the Arabian Babbler, a bird commonly known for its surprising (alleged) altruistic behaviours. Amotz Zahavi is an Israeli Evolutionary Biologist from Tel-Aviv University, and one of the founders of the Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature. ... The handicap principle is an idea proposed by the Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi. ... Binomial name (Cretzschmar, 1827) The Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps) is a passerine bird belonging to the genus Turdoides, a genus of Old World babblers. ...

Altruism and religion

Most, if not all, of the world's religions promote altruism as a very important moral value. Christianity, Buddhism[citation needed] , and Sikhism place particular emphasis on altruistic morality, as noted above, but Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and many other religions also promote altruistic behavior. Altruism was central to the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel especially in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain. From biblical to medieval Christian traditions, tensions between self-affirmation and other-regard were sometimes discussed under the heading of "disinterested love," as in the Pauline phrase "love seeks not its own interests." In his book Indoctrination and Self-deception, Roderick Hindery tries to shed light on these tensions by contrasting them with impostors of authentic self-affirmation and altruism, by analysis of other-regard within creative individuation of the self, and by contrasting love for the few with love for the many. If love, which confirms others in their freedom, shuns propagandas and masks, assurance of its presence is ultimately confirmed not by mere declarations from others, but by each person's experience and practice from within. As in practical arts, the presence and meaning of love become validated and grasped not by words and reflections alone, but in the doing. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Buddhism is a variety of teachings, sometimes described as a religion[1] or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end, or ease suffering. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... For other uses, see Gospel (disambiguation). ... The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch. ... The Sermon on the Plain, said to be by Jesus according to Gospel of Luke 6:17-49, may be compared to the longer Sermon on the Mount. ... CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS ---- Any biblical teaching, written or spoken information passed down from generation to generation and from culture to culture without losing its original essence. ... Pauline is a female given name, originally the French form of Paulina. ...

Though it might seem obvious that altruism is central to the teachings of Jesus, one important and influential strand of Christianity would qualify this. St Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica, I:II Quaestion 26, Article 4 states that we should love ourselves more than our neighbour. His interpretation of the Pauline phrase is that we should seek the common good more than the private good but this is because the common good is a more desirable good for the individual. 'You should love your neighbour as yourself' from Leviticus 19 and Matthew 22 is interpreted by St Thomas as meaning that love for ourself is the exemplar of love for others. He does think though, that we should love God more than ourselves and our neighbour, taken as an entirety, more than our bodily life, since the ultimate purpose of love of our neighbour is to share in eternal beatitude, a more desirable thing than bodily well being. Comte was probably opposing this Thomistic doctrine, now part of mainstream Catholicism, in coining the word Altruism, as stated above. Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Summa theologiae, Pars secunda, prima pars. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ...


Altruism is essential to the Sikh religion. In the late 1600's, Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the tenth guru in Sikhism), was in war with the Moghul rulers to protect the people of different faiths, when a fellow Sikh, Bhai Kanhaiya, attended the troops of the enemy. He gave water to the injured, which revived their strength[citation needed]. Some of them began to fight again and seemed to cause problems to the Sikh warriors. Sikh soldiers brought Bhai Kanhaiya before the Guru, and complained of his action that they considered counterproductive to their struggle on the battlefield. "What were you doing, and why?" asked the Guru. "I was giving water to the wounded because I saw your face in them," replied Bhai Kanhaiya. The Guru responded, "Then you should also give them ointment to heal their wounds. You were practicing what you were coached in the house of the Guru." In love of altruism, is there any room for hatred or duality? Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Guru Gobind Singh (Punjabi: ) (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708) He was born in Patna in India in 1666 and became the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on 11 November 1675, succeeding his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur who was killed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... The Mughal Empire (alternative spelling Mogul, which is the origin of the word Mogul) of India was founded by Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the First Battle of Panipat. ... Bhai Kanhaiya giving water without Discrimination Bhai Khaniya (1648-1718), was a Sikh of Guru Tegh Bahadur and was the founder of the Sevapanthi or Addanshahi sect of the Sikhs. ...

It was under the tutelage of the Guru that Bhai Kanhaiya subsequently founded a volunteer corps for altruism. This volunteer corps till to date is engaged in doing good to others and trains new volunteering recruits for doing the same.

It is claimed by some Sikhs that Bhai Kanhaiya's successors who continued the tradition of serving others and who committed their lives to service of the sick and wounded lived longer than usual life spans.[citation needed] Bhai Kanhaiya’s successors were not related genetically in order to account for their exceptional longevity. Rather they were volunteers from the Sikh organizations who committed their lives to serve the sick; first they did it themselves and then they recruited others to do the same. All of them defied the recorded longevity norms of the time for a long span of over three centuries.[citation needed]

Longevity is determined by many factors, freedom from disease and stress are two such factors. The altruists were certainly observed to live calm and tranquil lives. For Sikhs, altruism was made an act of faith by their founders.

See also

Altruism is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have an ethical obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. ... Altruism is a well-documented animal behaviour, which appears most obviously in kin relationships but may also be evident amongst wider social groups. ... Altruria was a short-lived Utopian commune in Sonoma County, California based on Christian socialist principles and inspired by William Dean Howellss 1894 novel, A Traveler from Altruria. ... In modern usage, the practice of charity means the giving of help to those in need. ... This article is about charitable organizations. ... Egoism may refer to any of the following: psychological egoism - the doctrine that holds that individuals are always motivated by self-interest ethical egoism - the ethical doctrine that holds that individuals ought to do what is in their self-interest rational egoism - the belief that it is rational to act... Empathy-altruim is a form of altruism based on feelings for others. ... The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. ... Just in many usages, including economic ones, may express ethical acceptance of some possible social state(s) against which other possible social states are measured. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... Misanthrope redirects here. ... The term mutual aid has multiple meanings: Mutual aid, a tenet of anarchist thought Mutual aid, an agreement between emergency responders Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, a book by anarchist Peter Kropotkin Mutual aid, in social work with groups Category: ... Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, time, or effort to support a charitable cause, usually over an extended period of time and in regard to a defined objective. ... {redirect|Psychological science|the journal|Psychological Science (journal)}} Not to be confused with Phycology. ... A random act of kindness or RAoK is a selfless act performed by kind people to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier. ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Selfishness denotes the precedence given in thought or deed to self interests and self concerns, the act of placing ones own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. ... Solidarity in sociology refers to the feeling or condition of unity based on common goals, interests, and sympathies among a groups members. ... Tit for Tat is a highly-effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoners dilemma. ...


  1. ^ Vinciane Despret, Naissance d'une théorie éthologique - la danse du cratérope écaillé, Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, 1996, p.38 (French)
  2. ^ Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (New York: Benziger Bros., 1948), I-II, Q. 27, Art. 3, rep. obj. 2.)
  3. ^ See Pierre Rousselot, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages: A Historical Contribution. Trans. Alan Vincelette (Milwaukee: Marquette Univ. Press, 2001).
  4. ^ Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, VII, 2 (Prometheus Books, 2000, p.458)
  5. ^ a b Rand, Ayn, with additional articles by Nathaniel Branden. (1964) The Virtue of Selfishness. Signet Book.
  6. ^ Seed, John and Macy, Joanna (et al)(1987) "Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings" (New Society Publications)
  7. ^ Herbert Gintis (September 2000). "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality". Journal of Theoretical Biology 206 (2): 169–179. doi:10.1006/jtbi.2000.2111. 
  8. ^ Human fronto–mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation, PNAS 2006:103(42);15623-15628)
  9. ^ "If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only Natural", Washington Post, May 2007. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Richard (07 December 2006) "Why altruism paid off for our ancestors" (NewScientist.com news service) [1]

Summa theologiae, Pars secunda, prima pars. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... The Theory of Moral Sentiments written by Adam Smith in 1759, was one of the most important works in the theory of capitalism. ... The Journal of Theoretical Biology is a scientific journal dealing with all mathematical and computational aspects of biology. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...


  • Oord, Thomas Jay (2007). The Altruism Reader: Selections from Writings on Love, Religion, and Science (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press).
  • Batson, C.D. (1991). The altruism question. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Fehr, E. & Fischbacher, U. (23 October 2003). The nature of human altruism. In Nature, 425, 785 – 791.
  • Comte, Auguste, Catechisme positiviste (1852) or Catechism of Positivism, tr. R. Congreve, (London: Kegan Paul, 1891)
  • Kropotkin, Peter, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902)
  • Thomas Jay Oord, Science of Love (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2004).
  • Nietzsche, Friedrich, Beyond Good and Evil
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, The Philosophy of Poverty (1847)
  • Lysander Spooner, Natural Law
  • Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue
  • Oliner, Samuel P. and Pearl M. Towards a Caring Society: Ideas into Action. West Port, CT: Praeger, 1995.
  • The Evolution of Cooperation, Robert Axelrod, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02121-2
  • The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins (1990), second edition -- includes two chapters about the evolution of cooperation, ISBN 0-19-286092-5
  • Robert Wright, The moral animal, Vintage, 1995, ISBN 0-679-76399-6.
  • Madsen, E.A., Tunney, R., Fieldman, G., Plotkin, H.C., Dunbar, R.I.M., Richardson, J.M., & McFarland, D. (2006) Kinship and altruism: A cross-cultural experimental study. British Journal of Psychology
  • Wedekind, C. and Milinski, M. Human Cooperation in the simultaneous and the alternating Prisoner's Dilemma: Pavlov versus Generous Tit-for-tat. Evolution, Vol. 93, pp. 2686-2689, April 1996.

is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Auguste Comte Auguste Comte (full name Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte) (January 17 (recorded January 19), 1798 _ September 5, 1857) was a positivist thinker and a founder of the discipline of sociology. ... Prince Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: ) (December 9, 1842–February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society free from central government. ... Thomas Jay Oord (b. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Beyond Good and Evil (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse), subtitled Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft), is a book by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886. ... Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (pronounced [ˈpruːd É’n] in British English, [pʁu dɔ̃] in French) (January 15, 1809 – January 19, 1865) was a French mutualist political philosopher of the socialist tradition. ... Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist political philosopher, abolitionist, and legal theorist of the 19th century. ... Matthew (Matt) Ridley (born February 7, 1958 at Newcastle upon Tyne) (not to be confused with Mark Ridley) is an English science writer. ... The Origins Of Virtue is a 1997 popular-science book by Matt Ridley. ... The Evolution of Cooperation is a 1984 book and a 1981 article of the same title by political science professor Robert Axelrod. ... Robert Axelrod is the Arthur W. Bromage Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. ... The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... For other persons of the same name, see Robert Wright. ... Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary biologist, specialising in primate behaviour. ...

External links

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    • What is Altruism? from Altruists International
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  Results from FactBites:
Biological Altruism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (5863 words)
If altruism is to evolve, it must be the case that the recipients of altruistic actions have a greater than average probability of being altruists themselves.
The theory of reciprocal altruism, developed by Trivers (1971), is one attempt to explain the evolution of altruism among non-kin.
If by ‘real’ altruism we mean altruism done with the conscious intention to help, then the vast majority of living creatures are not capable of ‘real’ altruism nor therefore of ‘real’ selfishness either.
Altruism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2857 words)
Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, God, a king), a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, country etc).
Ayn Rand argued that altruism is the willful sacrifice of one's values, and represents the reversal of morality because only rationally selfish ethics allow one to pursue the values required for human life.
Altruism was central to the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel.
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