There is clearly a plurality of forms of altruism. Classically, biological altruism is distinguished from psychological altruism. Recent discussions of altruism have attempted to distinguish even more forms of altruism. I will focus on three altruism concepts, biological altruism, psychological altruism, and helping altruism. The questions I am concerned with here are, first, how should we understand these concepts? and second, what relationship do these concepts bear to one another? In particular, is there an essence to altruism that unifies these concepts? I suggest that while there is no essence to altruism, this does not mean that the array of altruism concepts is completely disunified. Instead, I propose we place all the concepts into a common framework--an altruism space--that could lead to new questions about how this space can be filled.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2015.10.007
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon - 1978 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181.
The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):484-498.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Evolution of Psychological Altruism.Gualtiero Piccinini & Armin Schulz - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):1054-1064.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Basics of Spiritual Altruism.Sangeetha Menon - 2007 - Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 39 (2):137-152.
The Ethics of Altruism.Jonathan Seglow (ed.) - 2004 - F. Cass Publishers.
Altruism as a Thick Concept.Michael Schefczyk & Mark Peacock - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):165-187.
Varieties of Altruism.Philip Kitcher - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):121-148.
Putting Altruism in Context.Joel Sobel - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):275-276.
Levels of Altruism.Martin Zwick & Jeffrey A. Fletcher - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (1):1-8.


Added to PP index

Total views
49 ( #229,148 of 2,498,767 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #210,759 of 2,498,767 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes