Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Altruism in Humans$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

C. Daniel Batson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195341065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341065.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022



(p.188) 8 Liabilities
Altruism in Humans

C. Daniel Batson

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the liabilities of empathy-induced altruism following roughly the same sequence as in Chapter 7—first, liabilities for individuals in need, then for groups in need, and finally, for the person experiencing altruistic motivation. The potential liabilities are: empathy-induced altruism can hurt those in need, especially when the helper needs a cool head; it may also produce maternalism and paternalism; empathy-induced altruism can be overridden by self-concern; it can produce empathy avoidance; empathy-induced altruism is less likely to be evoked by non-personal, abstract, and chronic needs; empathy-induced altruism can be a source of immoral action; it can also pose a threat to the common good in social dilemmas. Finally, empathy-induced altruism can pose a threat to the mental and physical health—and even to the life—of the altruistically motivated individual.

Keywords:   common good, empathy avoidance, empathy-induced altruism, immoral action, maternalism, mental health, paternalism, physical health, social dilemmas

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .