Some writers in the field of ethics have maintained that the actions which are usually called altruistic are in reality only disguised forms of self-interest. They support this claim by calling attention to the fact that man is a social being who is dependent on the members of society for those conditions which are essential to his own individual welfare. When the society to which he belongs suffers, he, as a member of that society, shares in the misfortune which has come to the group as a whole. In the same way, he profits as an individual from anything which promotes the welfare of the other members of his society.Thus it appears that all concern for such social virtues as justice and benevolence arises from the selfish interests of the individuals concerned. Again, Hume admits that while this explanation may
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.