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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 August 2020

Explicating Altruism

Explicating Altruism

(p.106) 7 Explicating Altruism
Altruism and Altruistic Love

Kristen Renwick Monroe

Oxford University Press

Empathy, altruism, and agape are not the same phenomenon. Altruism in the laboratory may differ in significant ways from altruism in what we often call the real world. Altruistic behavior does not correspond to the accepted wisdom in Western ethics in which ethics are a function of agonistic choice. This altruistic perspective consists of a common perception of oneself as an individual strongly linked to others through a shared humanity. Attempts to smuggle self-interest into acts of altruism make clear how difficult it is for disciplines founded on the assumption of self-interest to comprehend and explain altruism. Human beings are highly complex organisms living in a multiplicity of cultures, and any theoretical models designed to predict our behavior must try to allow for this complexity.

Keywords:   altruism, perspective, complex organisms, altruistic behavior, self-interest

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