Altruism

In John M. Doris & The Moral Psychology Research Group (eds.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press (2010)
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Abstract

We begin, in section 2, with a brief sketch of a cluster of assumptions about human desires, beliefs, actions, and motivation that are widely shared by historical and contemporary authors on both sides in the debate. With this as background, we’ll be able to offer a more sharply focused account of the debate. In section 3, our focus will be on links between evolutionary theory and the egoism/altruism debate. There is a substantial literature employing evolutionary theory on each side of the issue. However, it is our contention that neither camp has offered a convincing case. We are much more sanguine about recent research on altruism in social psychology, which will be our topic in section 4. Though we don’t think this work has resolved the debate, we will argue that it has made illuminating progress – progress that philosophers interested in the question cannot afford to ignore.

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Erica Preston-Roedder
Occidental College

Citations of this work

Valence and Value.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):658-680.
Egoism, Empathy, and Self-Other Merging.Joshua May - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):25-39.
Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
The possibility of altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford,: Clarendon P..
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.Jeremy Bentham - 1780 - New York: Dover Publications. Edited by J. H. Burns & H. L. A. Hart.

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