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Social Evaluation and the Empathy -- Altruism Hypothesis.

Psychological egoism claims that each person has but one ultimateaim: her own welfare. This allows for action that fails to maximizeperceived self-interest, but rules out the sort of behaviorpsychological egoists like to target — such as altruistic behavior ormotivation by thoughts of duty alone. It allows for weakness of will,since in weakness of will cases I am still aiming at my own welfare; Iam weak in that I do not act as I aim. And it allows for aiming atthings other than one's welfare, such as helping others, where thesethings are a means to one's welfare.

Batson and colleagues argue yes, empathic reaction is a source of altruistic motivation.

In her book entitled When Light Pierced the Darkness, Nechama Tec asserts that people who aided Jews during the Nazi Holocaust may have acted altruistically; however, they did so under a modified definition of altruism.

(1969) Empathy, outcome, and altruism.

For the altruist, addressing the needs of humanity is purportedly the sole purpose of existence.

I will explore evidence supporting this theory, as well as evidence pointing to psychological explanations such as reciprocal altruism, social norms and primitive sympathy....

Psychological egoism is supported by our frequent observation ofself-interested behavior. Apparently altruistic action is oftenrevealed to be self-interested. And we typically motivate people byappealing to their self-interest (through, for example, punishments andrewards).

(1963) Altruism or arousal in the rat?

Or is "altruism" merely doing things for others in order to feel good about ourselves....

Rand believes that the basic principle of altruism "is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, his service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value."(1) Thus, she conceptualizes altruism as an ethical dilemma for the person whom sacrifice is demanded....

According to Wilson, "Altruism is defined in biology, as in everyday life, as a self-destructive behavior for the benefit of other." (Recent Work on Human Altruism and Evolution) Another popularized theory by Richard Dawkins states that an individual who behaves more altruistic towards others who share its genes will tend to reprod...

(1997) Reinterpreting the empathy-altruism relationship: When one into one equals oneness.
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(1962) "Altruism" in the albino rat.

Furthermore, she offers her own definition of altruism within the context of the Holocaust and designates six traits, which she found rescuers of Jews to exhibit....

(1971) The evolution of reciprocal altruism.

We argue that it is more useful to consider empathy as a broad phenomenon that encompasses identification, emotional contagion, and cognitive empathy (Figure 1).

(1984) The origins of empathy and altruism.

Altruism in a philosophical sense refers to a predominately human, otherwise anthropomorphic act, where the actor consciously and intently commits an act which brings about benefit to the recipient which either a neutral benefit or detrimental effect to the actor....

Empathy altruism hypothesis Flashcards | Quizlet

The altruistic idea of donating one’s time for the greater good of the community creates a sense of hope for future generations, a concept that some say remains uncommon today especially with the unemployment rate and negativity thrown at us by the media.

Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis by Lenka Tikovska on Prezi

This argument has drawbacks. Natural selection does not alwaysprovide back-up mechanisms (I have but one liver). Natural selectionsometimes has my desires caused by affect that is produced by a beliefrather than directly by the belief (my desire to run away from dangeris often caused by my fear, rather than by the mere belief that thereis danger). And in these cases, as in the case of the imperfectlycorrelated pain and bodily injury, there seems usually tobe affect. The altruistic hypothesis also has some ofthe same problems: for example, just as there might not be enoughpain, the non-instrumental desire that the child do well might not bestrong enough to defeat other desires. Indeed, without an estimate ofhow strong this desire is, there is no reason to think the egoistichypothesis is less reliable. It may have more points at which it cango wrong, but produce more care than a direct but weak altruisticmechanism. (For many of these worries, and others, see Stich, Dorisand Roedder 2010.)

Empathy–Altruism Hypothesis - Oxford Handbooks

He is author of The Altruism Question: Toward a Social-Psychological Answer, the “Altruism and Prosocial Behavior” chapter in The Handbook of Social Psychology (4th ed.), Altruism in Humans, and What’s Wrong with Morality?

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