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Empirical Approaches to Altruism

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[New Entry by John Doris, Stephen Stich, and Lachlan Walmsley on January 6, 2020.] Many philosophers have maintained that altruism is a crucial component of morality, and that people often do behave altruistically. Other philosophers, along with many biologists and social scientists, have claimed that facts about human psychology, or about the evolutionary processes that have shaped human psychology, indicate that no human behavior is genuinely altruistic. Part of this disagreement can be traced to the fact that both philosophers and scientists use the term "altruism" with many quite different meanings. Sections 2,...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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