Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Altruism is the attitude that consists of according one's regards to the Other ( alter in Latin), personally or globally, as a principle of one's choices and actions. Opposed to egoism , it implies sincere and unselfish concern for the well-being of others, expressed practically. Its most current use is referred to interhuman relationships; in this sense, it can be attached to humanism . Altruism is indeed an extremely significant notion of great concrete consequences for the human societies. There shouldn't be confusion between the principle of altruism and the one of simple respect of the Other: Being respectful doesn't necessarily imply taking under consideration the Other's welfare for the definition of one's behavior. Another possible erroneous identification may occur between altruism and the ethical attitude founded on the principle of reciprocity, as expressed negatively already in the Hebraïc Talmud of Babylon (Shabbat): “Don't do to your fellow man New ...