Can a plant be altruistic?

The concept of altruism has long been debated in philosophical circles, and more recently, evolutionary biologists have joined the debate. From the perspective of natural selection, altruism may have evolved because any ...

Can plants be altruistic? You bet, study says

We've all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests some plants ...

Microbes may encourage altruistic behavior

(Phys.org)—Why do people commonly go out of their way to do something nice for another person, even when it comes at a cost to themselves—and how could such altruistic behavior have evolved? The answer may not just be ...

Acting selfish? Blame your mother

(PhysOrg.com) -- The fact that our female ancestors dispersed more than our male ancestors can lead to conflicts within the brain that influence our social behaviour, new research reveals.

Humans naturally cooperative, altruistic, social

The condition of man is a condition of war, wrote 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. A quick glance through history books and today's news headlines certainly seems to support the longstanding idea that humans by nature ...

'Nature' Paper Refigures the Evolution of Altruism

(PhysOrg.com) -- In 1871, Charles Darwin puzzled over the evolution of altruism. "He who was ready to sacrifice his life, as many a savage has been," he wrote in The Descent of Man, "rather than betray his comrades, would ...

Robots learn to share, validating Hamilton's rule (w/ video)

Using simple robots to simulate genetic evolution over hundreds of generations, Swiss scientists provide quantitative proof of kin selection and shed light on one of the most enduring puzzles in biology: Why do most social ...

Generosity leads to evolutionary success, biologists show

With new insights into the classical game theory match-up known as the "Prisoner's Dilemma," University of Pennsylvania biologists offer a mathematically based explanation for why cooperation and generosity have evolved in ...

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Altruism

Altruism  /ˈæltruːɪzəm/ is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty and duty. Altruism is a motivation to provide something of value to a party who must be anyone but the self, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, a god, a king), or collective (for example, a government). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism consists of giving something of value[citation needed] (a reward or benefit) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect (for instance from recognition of the giving).

The term altruism may also refer to an ethical doctrine that claims that individuals are morally obliged to benefit others. Used in this sense, it is the opposite of egoism.

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