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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics Affection for others, a desire for the good of others, or a disposition to act to promote their welfare. Benevolence is associated with love , compassion, charity, and altruism . Benevolence is an altruistic sentiment that motivates us to act for the interests of others for their own sake. Some moral philosophies, such as Christian ethics, Hume 's ethics, and especially utilitarianism , ascribe benevolence fundamental importance in ethics. Nevertheless, humans generally give priority to the pursuit of their own interests, and the explanation of the general presence of benevolence in human nature and attempts to explain altruism in terms of benevolence remain matters of dispute. “The term [‘benevolence’] stands for a positive reaction to other people's desire and satisfactions, which the benevolent person has only because they are the desires and satisfactions of others.” B. Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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