Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Sociobiological and Social Constructionist Accounts of Altruism: a Phenomenological Critique

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

Much theorizing about altruism has been undertaken within a naturalistic and deterministic sociobiological framework that has sought to explain altruistic action in terms of underlying genetic selfishness. Recently, however, social constructionist thinkers have developed an alternative to such theorizing which suggests that human action arises out of fundamentally open-ended and malleable social relationships. This paper intends to show, however, that a reductive egoism is nonetheless still at work in such accounts, typically taking the form of an underlying concern for matters of personal status and social recognition. As a response, this paper will briefly outline the work of the French phenomenologists Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas as an example of non-reductive and fundamentally Other-oriented alternatives to both sociobiological and social constructionist accounts of altruistic action.

Affiliations: 1: Brigham Young University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Phenomenological Psychology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation