There is little disagreement among philosophers, sociobiologists and economists about altruistic behaviour as observed, even measured, although individual motives may be questioned. Without controversy, one may define altruism as “intentional voluntary behaviour that benefits another and is not performed with the expectation of receiving external rewards or avoiding external punishments or aversive stimuli” (Eisenberg & Miller 51). One may also associate such actions with sympathy for, and empathy with, others. These actions are taken to be selfless rather than selfish, although it is conceivable that apparently altruistic actions may be motivated by some form of self-benefit to be associated with egoism (Batson 2), like the desire for fame or privileged attention.
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