Can philosophical accounts of altruism accommodate experimental data on helping behaviour?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (1):26 – 45 (1999)
Philosophers often discuss altruism, how it is to be understood, explained, justified, evaluated, etc. Few refer to any experimental data on helping behaviour. I will argue that some of these data seem at least initially to present a challenge to various philosophical accounts of altruism. Put very broadly, when one looks at various philosophical accounts of altruism in light of various data on helping behaviour, one might wonder whether many philosophical accounts fall prey to the 'fundamental attribution error', overestimating people's character and personal dispositions as the basis of their actions and underestimating the role of persons' situations and their construals of them in determining what they do.
Keywords fundamental attribution error
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DOI 10.1080/00048409912348791
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