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For many, altruism is about immediacy- helping a drowning child if you’re in a position to intervene and save their life, for example. But if a situation is more abstract, like life-threatening hunger in another part of the world, we may not react with a donation or support. Some people, deemed “do-gooders”, see no difference between the two scenarios and devote their lives to helping others, feeling it would be wrong to do anything else. We learn what drives those individuals and consider the broader philosophy that underpins altruism.
- Larissa MacFarquhar Author, "Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help"; Staff Writer, The New Yorker
READ: "Strangers Drowning" Excerpt
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