The Possibility of Altruism

This book defends a conception of ethics, and a related conception of human nature, according to which altruism is included among the basic rational requirements on desire and action.


Author: Thomas Nagel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400884490

Category: Social Science

Page: 160

View: 311

Just as there are rational requirements on thought, there are rational requirements on action. This book defends a conception of ethics, and a related conception of human nature, according to which altruism is included among the basic rational requirements on desire and action.

Altruism and Christian Ethics

Further clari®cation of this approach may be possible through consideration of a direct attempt to assess the possibility of altruism from this rational perspective. nagel on the rational possibility of altruism A direct articulation of ...


Author: Colin Grant

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139430210

Category: Religion

Page: 266

View: 815

Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterised by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterised by self-giving love (agape), then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities.

Thomas Nagel

Nagel repeatedly insists that the distinctions he is drawing in The Possibility of Altruism are purely formal. One and the same object can be viewed, evaluatively, as simply good, or as good for a particular person (where it is not ...


Author: Alan Thomas

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317494188

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 729

In the first systematic study of the philosophy of Thomas Nagel, Alan Thomas discusses Nagel's contrast between the "subjective" and the "objective" points of view throughout the various areas of his wide ranging philosophy. Nagel's original and distinctive contrast between the subjective view and our aspiration to a "view from nowhere" within metaphysics structures the chapters of the book. A "new Humean" in epistemology, Nagel takes philosophical scepticism to be both irrefutable and yet to indicate a profound truth about our capacity for self-transcendence. The contrast between subjective and objective views is then considered in the case of the mind, where consciousness proves to be the central aspect of mind that contemporary theorising fails to acknowledge adequately. The second half of the book analyses Nagel's work on moral and political philosophy where he has been most deeply influential. Topics covered include the contrast between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons and values, Nagel's distinctive version of a hybrid ethical theory, his discussion of life's meaningfulness and finally his sceptical arguments about whether a liberal society can reconcile the conflicting moral demands of self and other.

The Altruistic Species

The commonsense understanding, which considers most forms of altruism to be extraordinary and certainly outside the usual sphere of human activity, sometimes leads to the equally intuitive rejection of the possibility of altruism ...


Author: Andrew Michael Flescher

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 9781599471228

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 907

What motivates altruism? How essential is the phenomenon of altruism to the human experience? Is altruism readily accessible to the ordinary person? In The Altruistic Species, Andrew Michael Flescher and Daniel L. Worthen explore these questions through the lenses of four disciplinary perspectives—biology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. In the course of their investigation, they make an extended argument for the existence of altruism against competing theories that construe all ostensible cases of benevolence as self-interest in disguise. The authors consider theories of egoism; the role of genetics and evolutionary biology; the psychological that induce altruistic behavior; philosophical theories of altruism in normative ethics such as Kantian, utilitarian, and Aristotelian models of moral action; and accounts of love of the neighbor in Christianity and Buddhism. Additionally, they offer a new, comprehensive definition of altruism that is inclusive of the insights of each of these perspectives. The Altruistic Species reinvigorates the debate over the prevalence of selfless motivation in human behavior—whether it is a rare or ubiquitous phenomenon, something that is always to be considered exceptional or a capacity that members of any community potentially could develop. This noteworthy interdisciplinary examination of altruism balances science, virtue theory, and theology. It is ideal courses in ethics, human behavior, and evolutionary biology, as an educational resource for other multidisciplinary studies, and for interested lay readers.

Integralism Altruism and Reconstruction

At the same time, there was a concomitant rise in scholars dedicated to rational choice theory, who deny the possibility of altruism, and who have largely dominated studies of altruism. Rational choice theory is founded on the ...


Author: Elvira del Pozo Aviñó

Publisher: Universitat de València

ISBN: 9788437083629

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 166

View: 766

Integralism, Altruism and Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of Pitirim A. Sorokin presenta el sociòleg de nacionalitat russa Pitirim A. Sorokin (1889-1968) des de la perspectiva del pensament sociològic contemporani. Els nou autors que participen en aquest llibre, originaris de diverses universitats nord-americanes i espanyoles, reflexionen sobre els períodes brillants i obscurs de la trajectòria acadèmica de Sorokin. Després d'haver experimentat una vida política molt activa a Rússia, Sorokin emigrà als Estats Units durant els anys 30, on esdevingué una figura acadèmica de gran prestigi. Arribà a ser director del departament de sociologia de la Universitat de Harvard de 1930 a 1944, fundà el Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism el 1949 i fou nominat com a president de la American Sociological Association el 1964. Ara bé, malgrat la seua distingida i prolífica carrera acadèmica, moltes de les seues obres han estat ignorades en gran manera per la sociologia convencional. Aquest llibre descriu les raons per les quals el destí de Sorokin prengué una direcció tan desafortunada i posa en relleu l'existència avui mateix d'un creixent grup d'acadèmics interessats a revitalitzar aquest important teòric i autor.

Altruism in the Context of Economic Rationalistic Idelogies and Systems of Healthcare and Welfare Delivery A Multi Disciplinary Approach

As well as discounting religion in altruism, some social scientists have discounted the possibility of altruism altogether. They have attributed some economic, religious or psychological benefit to those who rendered assistance to ...


Author: Donald Gates


ISBN: 9781411680135


Page: 578

View: 284

This work examines the two apparently contradictory concepts of Altruism and Economic Rationalism in the context of Health and Welfare Delivery. It is multi-dsiciplinary and employs a number of diciplines including: Sociology, Economics, Theology, Religion, Eccesiology, History and Political Science.

Unjust Enrichment

In considering “ the possibility of altruism , ” Thomas Nagel explains that altruism arises from the human capacity to view oneself simultaneously " from both the personal and the impersonal standpoints , ” that is , both as “ I ...


Author: Hanoch Dagan

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052158468X

Category: Law

Page: 195

View: 558

A sophisticated comparative analysis of the doctrine of unjust enrichment.