Egoism, Altruism, and the Ethical Foundations of Personhood.

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    • Abstract:
      Most contemporary theorizing in psychology rejects the possibility of genuine altruism by endorsing explanations that assume psychological egoism. We seek to reframe psychological inquiry on the question of altruism by exploring an alternative, nonegoistic conceptual framework, within which genuine altruism is possible and whereby the meaning and moral dimensions of altruism can be more fruitfully explored. Two central features of our analysis are (a) the conceptual necessity of human agency for the preservation of the possibility of meaning in human affairs and (b) an examination of the ontological necessity of a genuinely social and moral understanding of personhood that preserves the possibility of altruism. Once these two issues have been addressed, an alternative conceptual framework for exploring the question of altruism drawing on the work of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas is briefly presented. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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