Is there a paradox of altruism?

In Jonathan Seglow (ed.), Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. F. Cass Publishers 87-105 (2004)
Behavioural scientists show altruism to exist as a distinctive personality. Yet when subjected to philosophical scrutiny, and altruistic personality is prima facie paradoxical. To motivate herself to help others, the altruist needs ?extensivity?, the capacity to compassionately identify with others. To aid others effectively, however, the altruist must have individuation, the possession of highly developed autonomy and self-efficacy. We assert that a better understanding of the relationship between concern for others and concern for self reveals the paradox to be merely apparent. We find that, in extending themselves in caring behaviours, altruists actually enhance their individuality. Moreover, given the differences between compassion and empathy and the way empathy medicates between compassionate co-feeling and individuation, extensivity and individuation do not necessarily conflict. We conclude therefore that despite appearances the altruistic personality is a coherent construct
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13698230410001702752
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #180,314 of 1,725,558 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,436 of 1,725,558 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.