Regard for other people both all-natural and ethical commitment to the passions of other individuals brotherly kindness opposed to egoism or selfishness
- the caliber of unselfish concern the benefit of others
- Regard for other individuals, both natural and ethical; devotion to the interests of others; brotherly kindness; -- opposed to egoism or selfishness.
it is alleged that altruism is inconsistent with economic rationality, which assumes that individuals act selfishly. Certainly, much financial analysis is concerned with just how individuals act, and homo economicus (financial man) is normally believed to do something inside the or the woman self-interest. But self-interest does not necessarily mean selfish. Some financial designs in neuro-scientific behavioural business economics believe that self-interested individuals behave altruistically since they find some advantage, or energy, from this. For-instance, it would likely make them feel much better about on their own, or perhaps a helpful insurance plan against social unrest, say. Some financial models get more and relax the traditional presumption of completely logical behavior by assuming that individuals often act altruistically, regardless of if this may be against their particular self-interest. Either way, there's much economic literature about charity, international aid, community investing and redistributive taxation.
1853, "unselfishness, opposite of egoism," from French altruisme, coined or popularized 1830 by French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857), from autrui, from Old French altrui, "of or even others," from Latin alteri, dative of change "other" (see alter). Apparently proposed to Comte by French legal expression l'autrui, or perhaps in full, le bien, le droit d'autrui. The -l- is perhaps a reinsertion from the Latin word. There was a fable that after the badger was in fact stung throughout by bees, a bear consoled him by a rhapsodic account of how he himself had simply breakfasted on the honey. The badger responded peevishly, "The stings come in my skin, plus the sweetness is in your muzzle." The bear, it is said, was astonished on badger's wish of altruism. ["George Eliot," "Theophrastus Such," 1879]
(change: various other) In general, the cult of benevolence; the alternative of Egoism (q.v.). Term created by Comte and followed in Britain by H. Spencer. 1. For Comte Altruism designed the control and eradication of self-centered desire, and a life devoted to the good of others; more especially, selfless love and commitment to Society. In brief, it involved the self-abnegating passion for Catholic Christianity redirected in direction of Humanity conceived as an ideal unity. As therefore comprehended, altruism involves a conscious opposition not only to egoism (whether recognized as excessive or modest self-love), and to the formal or theological search for charity and the atomic or individualistic personal philosophy of 17th-18th century liberalism, of utilitarianism, as well as French Ideology. 2. By expansion the word has come to indicate the search for the nice of other people, whether inspired by either self-centered or other-centered interest, or whether by disinterested duty. By some it really is identified utilizing the safety and other-regarding thoughts, attitudes, and behavior of animal life generally; while by others its usage is fixed to mean such regarding the degree of reflective intelligence. -- W.L.
(letter.) respect for other individuals, both normal and ethical; devotion towards passions of others; brotherly kindness; -- in opposition to egoism or selfishness.
He conceives it as a state of social harmony so complete that in it even the antagonism between altruism and egoism will have been overcome.