What is the Definition of Altruism in Everyday Language?
Regard for others, both natural and moral; devotion to the interests of others; brotherly kindness; -- opposed to egoism or selfishness.
When we are ashamed of some kind of behaviour, we label that behaviour as animal. Rather conveniently we forget that we as humans are indeed biped primates belonging to the
- Family Hominidae
- Order Primates
- Class Mammalia
- Phylum Chordata
- and Kingdom Animalia.
Definition of Altruism in Evolutionary Biology
Altruism in Salmonella Bacteria and Animals
Neanderthal Man Became Extinct Due to a Lack of Altruistic Behaviour
James Shreeve, in his book The Neanderthal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins. New York: William Morrow & Co, 1995, presents his theory of why the Neanderthal man became extinct.
The ability to share experience, artefacts and values with others created culture in the weaker Cro-Magnon man helped them survive and evolve.
Even when it is disadvantageous to us and entails sacrifices, it is ultimately genic self-interest, they say.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
I would rather be kept alive in the efficient if cold altruism of a large hospital than expire in a gush of warm sympathy in a small one. - Aneurin Bevan
If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject. - Ayn Rand
Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. - Richard Dawkins
- Dawkins, R., 1976, The Selfish Gene, Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Fletcher, J. A. and Doebeli, M., 2006, ‘How Altruism Evolves: Assortment and Synergy’, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 19: 1389-1393
- Hammerstein, P., 2003, ‘Why is Reciprocity so Rare in Social Animals? A Protestant Appeal’, in P. Hammerstein (ed.) Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation, Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
- Trivers, R.L., 1971. ‘The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism’, Quarterly Review of Biology, 46: 35-57