> In any case, altruism is basically glorified empathy…
Wilson/Sober offer a pretty good working definition of altruism for use in biology (the rare instance of a useful reduction) as actions that increase the fitness of others (in particular non-kin) at the cost of one’s own fitness.
^^^^^^^ CB: Why does it have to be at the cost of one's own fitness ?
I'm uncomfortable with the idea of individual organisms having fitness. I know this is not a new issue given "the selfish gene" thesis. Darwin's project was answering the question of how species originate. Fitness is a characteristic of species. Species are selected for or against. An individual helping any individual of the same species ( regardless of "kin" closeness or distance) at the expense self-sacrifice is sort of neutral for species fitness