Giving alms to the poor is often considered an altruistic action.

Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings and/or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions.

In an extreme case, altruism may become a synonym of selflessness which is the opposite of selfishness.

In a common way of living, it doesn't deny the singular nature of the subject, but realizes the traits of the individual personality in relation to the others, with a true, direct and personal interaction with each of them. It is focusing both on a single person and the whole community. In a (not only) Christian practice, it is the law of love direct to the ego and his neighbour.

The word "altruism" was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in French, as altruisme, for an antonym of egoism.[1][2] He derived it from the Italian altrui, which in turn was derived from Latin alteri, meaning "other people" or "somebody else".[3]

Altruism in biological observations in field populations of the day organisms is an individual performing an action which is at a cost to themselves (e.g., pleasure and quality of life, time, probability of survival or reproduction), but benefits, either directly or indirectly, another third-party individual, without the expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action. Steinberg suggests a definition for altruism in the clinical setting, that is "intentional and voluntary actions that aim to enhance the welfare of another person in the absence of any quid pro quo external rewards".[4]

Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty, in that whilst the latter is predicated upon social relationships, altruism does not consider relationships. Much debate exists as to whether "true" altruism is possible in human psychology. The theory of psychological egoism suggests that no act of sharing, helping or sacrificing can be described as truly altruistic, as the actor may receive an intrinsic reward in the form of personal gratification. The validity of this argument depends on whether intrinsic rewards qualify as "benefits".

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 usually contrasted with egoism, which claims individuals are morally obligated to serve themselves first.

The notion of altruism

The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought. The term was originally coined in the 19th century by the founding sociologist and philosopher of science, Auguste Comte, and has become a major topic for psychologists (especially evolutionary psychology researchers), evolutionary biologists, and ethologists. Whilst ideas about altruism from one field can affect the other fields, the different methods and focuses of these fields always lead to different perspectives on altruism. In simple terms, altruism is caring about the welfare of other people and acting to help them.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Altruïsme
Alemannisch: Altruismus
العربية: إيثار
asturianu: Altruísmu
azərbaycanca: Altruizm
Bân-lâm-gú: Lī-thaⁿ-chú-gī
беларуская: Альтруізм
български: Алтруизъм
bosanski: Altruizam
català: Altruisme
čeština: Altruismus
dansk: Altruisme
Deutsch: Altruismus
eesti: Altruism
español: Altruismo
Esperanto: Altruismo
euskara: Altruismo
فارسی: ایثار
français: Altruisme
한국어: 이타주의
हिन्दी: परहितवाद
hrvatski: Altruizam
Bahasa Indonesia: Altruisme
íslenska: Ósérplægni
italiano: Altruismo
עברית: זולתנות
ქართული: ალტრუიზმი
қазақша: Альтруизм
Кыргызча: Альтруизм
Latina: Altruismus
latviešu: Altruisms
lietuvių: Altruizmas
magyar: Altruizmus
македонски: Алтруизам
Bahasa Melayu: Altruisme
Nederlands: Altruïsme
日本語: 利他主義
norsk: Altruisme
norsk nynorsk: Altruisme
occitan: Altruisme
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Altruizm
polski: Altruizm
português: Altruísmo
română: Altruism
русский: Альтруизм
संस्कृतम्: परोपकारः
Scots: Altruism
shqip: Altruizmi
Simple English: Altruism
slovenčina: Altruizmus
slovenščina: Altruizem
српски / srpski: Алтруизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Altruizam
suomi: Altruismi
svenska: Altruism
татарча/tatarça: Альтруистлык
тоҷикӣ: Алтруизм
Türkçe: Diğerkâmlık
українська: Альтруїзм
Tiếng Việt: Chủ nghĩa vị tha
粵語: 利他主義
中文: 利他主义