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 ...

Study suggest people act fairly due to spite, not altruism

(Phys.org) —A study done by philosophers Patrick Forber of Tufts University and Rory Smead of Northwestern University, suggests fairness in societies evolves out of a fear of spite from others, rather than due to an increase ...

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 ...

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 ...

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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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