Altruism in society

Altruism in society - Definitions Term originated with...

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Definitions Term originated with Auguste Comte – ‘sympathetic instincts’, (1851) ‘Altruism is a motivational state with the ultimate goal of increasing another’s welfare’, (Batson, 1991) ‘Concern and help for others that asks nothing in return’, (Myers,1993) ‘Acting to increase another individual’s lifetime number of offspring at a cost to one’s own survival and reproduction’, ‘A helpful act that is carried out in the absence of obvious and tangible rewards’, (Schroeder, 1995) Evolutionary altruism/Vernacular altruism Opposite of egoism?
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Degrees of Altruism Egoistic Altruistic
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Our Definition ‘Behaviour carried out to benefit another without anticipation of rewards from external sources’, No ‘true’ altruism (Alexander, 1979)
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The Paradox ‘True altruism is biologically paradoxical in that any genetic inclination towards self-sacrifice must exist in spite of that sacrifice’, (Wilson, 1975:3)
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The Selfish Gene (Dawkins, 1989) Cultural vs Genetic - Memes vs Genes… Do selfish genes lead to non-selfish people? (Barrett et al, 2002) “the animal can be regarded as a machine designed to preserve copies of the genes inside it” Altruist genes (Schroeder, 1995)
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Cultural Explanations Learnt behaviour - Norms of social behaviour - Consequences: e.g. ‘Warm glow’ theory (Alexander, 1979), guilt (Trivers, 1971), judgement by society Why does society/culture need this adaptation? ‘Altruism is essential for the existence of society’ (Rushton, 1980:viii)
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“Do Unto Others…” “To help [others] in their straits; to rescue them from their perils” Taoism “we put well-being of other people and of all nature first”. Fools Crow, (Native-American religion)
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Altruism in society - Definitions Term originated with...

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