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The seat of the Société Philanthropique de Paris , founded in 1780 , the oldest non-denominational philanthropic society

Under Philanthropy ( ancient Greek φιλανθρωπία philanthropia from φίλος phílos "friend" and ἄνθρωπος Anthropos "man") refers to a philanthropic thinking and behavior. A love encompassing all of humanity, the “general human love”, is sometimes named as the motif. Materially, this attitude expresses itself in the support of those in need of support who do not belong to the group of relatives and friends of the philanthropist, or to institutions that serve the common good. The image of philanthropy is shaped above all by actions carried out on a large scale by very rich people.

The term comes from ancient times . At that time, the expression usually referred to a benevolent, generous attitude of the noble, powerful and rich towards their economically weaker fellow citizens. Philanthropy also included significant voluntary contributions by wealthy citizens to the common good. The benefactors increased their reputation, they could expect gratitude and public honors. First and foremost, it was hoped that the ruler would prove himself to be a philanthropist through mildness and helpfulness.

During the Enlightenment , the terms “philanthropy” and “philanthropy” were taken up. Philosophers made love for human beings a central part of the determination of human being. The concept of a natural, philanthropic attitude or “ humanity ” was combined with impulses that came from the Christian demand for charity . With regard to philanthropic practice, however, Enlightenment circles distanced themselves from the traditional ideal of mercy out of charity. Instead of charitable relief, the causes of social ills should be eliminated. Much was expected from educational measures. In education, philanthropism , a German reform movement of the 18th century, was groundbreaking. The philanthropists saw education in general philanthropy as a primary educational goal.

In modern philosophical and psychological discourse, the postulate of friendship or love for all of humanity has been assessed very differently. It has often been rejected as utopian and contrary to nature.

In common parlance today, philanthropy is often limited to its material aspect and equated with the provision of private financial resources for charitable purposes. One thinks primarily of large donations and the establishment of foundations. The funds are mainly used for education, research, health care, cultural issues and the fight against social ills. Critics suspect the strong political and social influence of large foundations that are only committed to the goals of their founders and are not democratically legitimized. They also assume that the philanthropists have questionable, selfish motives.


The idea of ​​universal human love beyond ethnic barriers was present in Judaism from the era of the Babylonian exile . In the Torah , the requirement to treat strangers well is linked to a commandment of love in two places: In the third book of Moses (Leviticus) it is prescribed: “The stranger who stays with you should be treated as a native to you, and you should love him as yourself; for you yourself were strangers in Egypt. "In the fifth book of Moses (Deuteronomy) , the statement" He (God) loves strangers and gives them food and clothing "is linked to the statement:" You too should love strangers, for you have been strangers in Egypt. ”The commandment refers to settled strangers (gērîm) of non-Israelite origin. The passage in Deuteronomy is from the middle of the 6th century BC at the earliest. Addition inserted into an older version of the text. The definition in the book of Leviticus is derived from that of Deuteronomy . “Strangers” are to be understood as people who live on the edge of the subsistence level; it is about clothing and food, the basic necessities of survival. The places thus prove the existence of an underclass of strangers who were dependent on charity in the area of ​​the former kingdom of Judah in the 6th century BC. After the fall of the royal family. The in Tanakh addressed community chosen by God is obligated to care for these people. The Deuteronomy passage is the oldest evidence of a commandment to love in Judaism, which is not limited to the local "neighbor", but includes humanity outside of Israel.

The unknown author of the letter to Aristeas from Hellenistic times , an Egyptian Jew, wrote that it was human nature to treat subordinates in a humane manner. Acting philanthropically is someone who thinks about the suffering always associated with human life and therefore does not inflict pain lightly. Philanthropy creates an indissoluble bond of mutual benevolence between the king and his subjects.

The Jewish philosopher Philon of Alexandria, who was active in the early 1st century AD, understood philanthropy to mean caring for all people and for each individual, but also for all other living beings. He highlighted the aspect of benevolence of the powerful towards the weaker. Although he thought that human love should in principle extend to the whole of humanity, he excluded the unworthy from it; they should not be able to invoke the principle of philanthropic generosity. In his treatise On Virtues , Philo devoted one of the four chapters to philanthropy. There he wrote that love for people is closely related to piety, that it is the way to holiness. He presented Moses as the best example in this area . He found it particularly praiseworthy that Moses had refrained from appointing one of his family members or his best friend as his successor in the leadership of the people in order not to fall victim to a bias. One of Philon's central concerns was to counter the accusation that the Jews and their religious laws are misanthropic and that they generally regard non-Jews as enemies.

The philanthropic concept gemilut chassadim (literally “giving of loving kindness”) plays an important role in the Jewish tradition up to the present day . This Hebrew term denotes a philanthropy and unselfish willingness to help, which is considered a comprehensive, fundamental social virtue in Judaism. According to a saying attributed in the treatise Proverbs of the Fathers to Simeon the Righteous, a high priest of the Hellenistic epoch, the continued existence of the world rests on three pillars: the Torah, worship and gemilut Hassadim . The philanthropy meant here includes charity, but goes beyond that: It not only includes material gifts, but also free personal commitment for any person who needs any help. Examples of gemilut Hassadim are dressing the naked, feeding the hungry, burying the dead, visiting the sick and giving interest-free loans to the needy.


The understanding of philanthropy in society and philosophy

It is characteristic of the understanding of philanthropy throughout antiquity that the philanthropist was almost always a person of high social rank and his attitude towards the beneficiaries was benevolent and condescending. Usually the charity did not benefit indiscriminately people of all origins, but only the fellow citizens of the benefactor or members of his linguistic and cultural community. In addition, there were also universal ideas of philanthropy, whose representatives exceeded ethnic and cultural boundaries with their demands. As a rule, the philanthropist was not expected to be unselfish; it was taken for granted that he was seeking advantages for himself, first and foremost fame and honor, and that the recipients of the assistance should be grateful. A very valued aspect of philanthropy was hospitality.

In Hellenism and the Roman Empire , philanthropy was widely regarded and praised as an important rulership virtue. A good ruler was expected to conform to the ideal of a powerful, prudent, and caring benefactor for his subjects. Philanthropy also became an important part of the self-image and self-portrayal of kings and emperors.

Philanthropy was considered a primarily Greek, later also a Roman virtue; the Athenians believed that they were leaders in this field. The non-Greeks (“ barbarians ”) were generally believed to be less philanthropic, they mostly had a reputation for savagery and cruelty, but philanthropy was sometimes ascribed to their rulers and even entire peoples.

Early and Greek Classics

The term philánthrōpos ("philanthropist") does not appear in Homer and Hesiod , but Homer emphasized the value of philophrosýnē ("kindness", "benevolence"). By that he meant a philanthropic attitude; for him the term roughly denotes what was later understood as philanthropia . Homer's Iliad praises the hero Patroclus , who has always shown a kind, friendly attitude “towards everyone”.

From the 5th century BC The first evidence of the word philanthropos comes from the 4th century BC ; it was used by the author of the tragedy The Fettered Prometheus - allegedly Aeschylus - and by the comedy poet Aristophanes . The tragedy poet described the attitude of the titan Prometheus , who brought fire to people, as a "philanthropic way". In the 4th century BC Chr. Were philanthropia and Philanthropos in Athens already frequent, especially among rhetoricians popular terms. In Plato they only appear sporadically; with the expression philanthropos he characterized the attitude of benevolent gods to people. In his dialogue Euthyphron , Plato had his teacher Socrates explain that out of philanthropy (hypó philanthrōpías) he passed on his knowledge lavishly and free of charge.

Plato's contemporary Xenophon - also a student of Socrates - used the terms frequently and in a variety of ways. He not only called gods, certain people and animals "humane", but also arts that promote human well-being. According to his account, Socrates taught that people are naturally friendly to one another. As was customary at the time, Xenophon assumed an elitist idea of ​​philanthropy; by philanthropy he understood the attitude of a powerful towards the weak, which was expressed in benevolence, helpfulness and mildness. For him, philanthropy was a characteristic of distinguished, extraordinary personalities, among whom he counted, alongside Socrates, the Spartan king Agesilaus II and, above all, the Persian king Cyrus II . He pointed out that being a philanthropist pays off; Thus, through philanthropy, King Agesilaus had won over cities that he could not conquer.

According to the then prevailing understanding of philanthropy, charity was not the dominant aspect. The essential thing was a superior, distinguished disposition, which was expressed, among other things, in helpfulness. This concept was formulated in particular by the influential speaker Isocrates . From his point of view, “humane speaking and acting” is not the result of a mere natural disposition, but an expression of an attitude acquired through education ( paideia ) . It characterizes the educated, civilized person. Isocrates viewed the Greek as such in contrast to the “barbarian” (non-Greek). Among the Greeks he attributed philanthropic sentiments primarily to the Athenians. The emphasis on philanthropy in the rhetoric is related to the political conditions in the Greek world of that time: Athens was a democratic state in which one could only achieve something if one was sufficiently popular with the mass of voters. This meant that, as Isocrates noted, a successful politician had to appear philanthropic in everything he said and did. Those who missed this quality made themselves unpopular.

Demosthenes (Roman bust, copy of a Greek original from the 3rd century BC)

The famous Athenian orator Demosthenes († 322 BC) also considered the philanthropic attitude to be a special asset of his fellow citizens. He pointed out the philanthropy of the Athenian laws. His concept differed fundamentally from the elitist and conservative understanding of philanthropy by Xenophon and Isocrates. For Demosthenes there was a connection between philanthropia and the democratic form of government in Athens. For him, the bearers of philanthropy were not the rulers and the rich, but the ordinary citizens of the city. He regarded philanthropy as a virtue of the dḗmos , the people of Athens who ruled the state, but also of individual citizens in everyday life. For him, this included qualities such as friendliness, generosity and tolerance. From his point of view, the opposite of this ideal was the ōmótēs ("roughness", "ferocity", "cruelty", "harshness"), which he subordinated to opponents such as King Philip II of Macedonia . He warned against Philip's alleged philanthropy, which was only faked. The principle of reciprocity was essential for Demosthenes: whoever had not shown a philanthropic attitude himself could not expect any philanthropia from the judges in court ; Inappropriate leniency towards reckless evildoers would be a violation of the philanthropia owed to decent citizens .

Aristotle wrote in his Nicomachean Ethics that there is a feeling of togetherness between all beings of the same origin due to a natural instinct. This is particularly the case with humans; therefore one praises the philanthropically minded. If someone abroad is dependent on the help of strangers, one can experience how close each person is to the other and how friends they are with them. In Aristotle, however, this statement is only a sporadic incidental remark; he paid little attention to philanthropy. Since he accepted and emphasized fundamental natural differences between people, the idea of ​​universal human love could hardly come into play in his ethics.

In his poetics , Aristotle expressed himself about to philanthropon ("the philanthropic" or "the humane") in tragedy poetry. The question of what exactly is meant by this has sparked discussions in research. In any case, it is about an effect that is desirable from the viewpoint of the humanly participating audience, connected with the feeling of justice, which is caused by the success of the “good guys” and the failure of the “bad guys”. The reward of good behavior through fate is "philanthropic", the misfortune of good people contradicts the "philanthropic" feeling. The process considered just and desirable by the audience is also referred to as “poetic justice”. According to one research opinion, Aristotle wanted to banish “the philanthropic” from tragedy as much as possible, since it did not fit the essence of the tragic; He demanded that the poet should not make concessions to the public's need for justice, but simply disregard it. According to the opposite, prevailing interpretation today, he considered “the philanthropic” to be an aspect that the tragedy poet had to take into account, even though the act had to hurt moral feelings in order to arouse pity.

According to a well-known anecdote, when Aristotle was accused of having benefited an unworthy person, he replied that he had shown mercy not for the character of the recipient but for the person. According to another version, the answer of the philosopher was that he did not give gifts to people, but "the human" (to anthrṓpinon) , that is, he acted for the sake of humanity.


The philanthropic ideal of Athens' heyday remained alive in the epoch of Hellenism . Although it was rarely explicitly discussed in philosophy, the ideas associated with it were present in the philosophical discourse. The idea of ​​philanthropy was taken up and popularized in comedy . The aspect of charity remained common in common parlance, even in a flattened sense, until finally a small gift or tip to philánthrōpon ("the benefit") was called. The general broadening of horizons in the Greek-speaking world that occurred as a result of the establishment of the Alexander Empire led to a shift in meaning. From the late 4th century BC The traditional restriction of philanthropy to the relatively narrow circle of fellow citizens or compatriots of the philanthropist receded, the use of the term in the sense of universal philanthropy increased sharply.

The Greek comedy poet Menander attached great importance to philanthropy. He contrasted the philanthropically minded - a righteous, decent person - with his counterpart, the grouchy, suspicious and selfish refuser of humanity (dýskolos) . The Roman comedy poets Plautus and Terenz , who were strongly influenced by Menander, conveyed his understanding of philanthropy to a broad Roman audience.

Even educated Romans were impressed by the Greek ideal of philanthropy and adopted the view that it was a specifically Greek achievement. For them the aspect of education, sophistication and general benevolence was in the foreground, not the element of charitable activity. In this sense, Cicero stated that the "human" attitude (Latin humanitas ) was not only practiced by the Greeks, but also proceeded from them to the other peoples. Hence, now that the Romans ruled Greece, they owed the Greeks especially humane treatment. The word humanitas was not used until the early 1st century BC. Chr. Attested. Cicero used it to refer to what the Greek authors understood by philanthropia , because the Greek word could not be faithfully reproduced with a Latin one. Until 63 BC With humanitas he generally referred to "humanity", that is, everything that specifically distinguishes people as such, including philanthropic philanthropy; only then did he begin an additional education that enables higher culture to be included as an essential part of humanitas .

The word philanthropia occurs relatively rarely among the Greek Stoics of the Hellenistic period . The associated ideas, however, correspond to their way of thinking, because Stoic ethics is based on the principle of a natural equality of all people. The Stoics justified this thought with the spiritual kinship of people based on common sense. Stoic philosophy calls for an altruistic commitment to others, which should not only benefit relatives, friends and acquaintances, but everyone. According to the stoic understanding, the aim is to develop a comprehensive, philanthropic attitude from the natural bond with relatives and friends, in that the solidarity with people close to them, which is taken for granted everywhere, is expanded so that it ultimately extends to all of humanity. Cicero was of the same opinion. He wrote that the love of the human race (caritas generis humani) begins immediately after birth with the love between parents and children and then gradually extends beyond the realm of the house, first taking hold of other relatives, then acquaintances, then the friends and all fellow citizens and allies of the state; in the end it embraces all of humanity. According to Cicero, this concept of philanthropy belonged to the teaching of the philosopher Antiochus of Askalon († probably 68 BC), who combined Platonic ideas with stoic ideas.

In the Hellenistic world, especially in Egypt, where the Ptolemies ruled, the king's philanthropia was a frequently used component of formulaic expressions in dealings between authorities and subjects . It was quoted when supplicants expressed their hope in the ruler's kindness or when someone expressed their gratitude in an inscription for a coupon they had received. A reprieve, such as an amnesty , and the decree proclaiming it was called a philanthropon . In the 3rd century BC The Egyptian king Ptolemy III led. the cult name "Euergetes" ("benefactor"), which was used in the context of the ruler's cult. Following his example, Ptolemy VIII († 116 BC) also called himself "Euergetes". In the capital Alexandria , however, this self-portrayal of the unpopular ruler met with rejection; the city population gave Ptolemy VIII the name of abuse "Kakergetes" ("culprit").

In the font parangelíai (“regulations”, Latin praeceptiones ), part of the Corpus Hippocraticum , doctors are asked to treat poorly well-off patients and strangers who are in financial distress for a small fee or free of charge. As a justification, the unknown author states: "Where there is love for people, there is also love for (medical) art."

Roman Imperial Era (Principal)

Seneca (bust in the Berlin Collection of Antiquities )

The Stoics of the imperial era , first and foremost the Roman philosopher Seneca , started from a concept of humanity that largely coincides with the traditional Greek ideal of philanthropy. Like Cicero, they used the Latin expression humanitas to convey the meaning of philanthropia . Seneca saw arrogance, avarice and indifference towards other people's misfortunes as the opposite of a philanthropic outlook. He wrote that the humanly-minded proves to be friendly and sociable towards everyone in words, deeds and feelings and does not ignore the suffering of others. Education is necessary, but does not contribute to humanity. This has to be learned, but this does not happen through the process in which one acquires the education. In the extensive work De beneficiis (On Beneficiaries ) , his main moral-philosophical work, Seneca dealt in detail with the question of the attitude in which benefits are to be given and received. He went against the traditional notion that doing charity is a privilege of the mighty and that the benefactor must always be the higher-ranking person. In doing so, he took a radical opposing position, claiming and explaining in detail that not only a subject could do his king, a soldier his commander and a son his father, but even a slave could do his master. This is the case in each case when the subordinate provides a service for the higher ranking person to which he is not obliged by his position. The virtue does not depend on the status, but "satisfied with the naked person". It is not the master who receives the benefit from the slave, but a person from a person. The benefit of the slave is particularly great, since he has done it for the master, although he is in the hated state of slavery. Seneca also dismissed the popular belief that a charitable act would be considered a failure if a recipient did not show gratitude. He said that the ungrateful had wronged not the giver but himself. One should not be deterred by such experiences, but should continue undeterred with charity. Seeing the value of benevolence in virtue itself, and not in the effects of benevolence on the relationship between giver and recipient, Seneca advocated anonymous help. The recipient does not need to know who the benefactor is. In some cases it is even appropriate to deceive him about it. The "law of benevolence" is that the giver should "immediately forget" his act. Seneca also made the well-known statement, illustrating his understanding of humanity, that man is something sacred to man.

Of all the ancient authors, Plutarch was the one who used the terms "philanthropy" and "philanthropist" the most. He put philanthropy at the forefront of virtues and combined with it a broad spectrum of “philanthropic” traits and behaviors, all of which have in common that they are beneficial for the good of the people. This includes courtesy and generosity as well as a friendly disposition towards all people, including enemies, and humane treatment of animals, which is intended to practice philanthropic benevolence. Sometimes Plutarch called a people-friendly, democratic political attitude "philanthropic". He pointed out that philanthropia in the sense of a generally accommodating, affable demeanor pays off for a politician and that the opposite - a distanced attitude towards the crowd - leads to failure. Plutarch followed the view traditionally prevailing in antiquity that philanthropy was a specifically Greek and especially Athenian achievement. For him, civilization and Greek culture, philanthropy and outstanding cultural achievements were closely related. He was convinced that a humane, “philanthropic” constitution and legislation were characteristic of a citizen-friendly Greek state and distinguished it from a “barbaric” one. In his biography of this ruler, Plutarch made the contrast between Greek philanthropy and the inhumanity of the Persian king Artaxerxes II vividly clear to his readers.

The writer Aulus Gellius dealt with the relationship between humanitas and philanthropia in his work Noctes Atticae . He said that after the original, correct use of the Latin word, it means something different from the Greek expression. The common equation is wrong. Under philanthropia you understand a certain affability and all people equally valid goodwill. The meaning of humanitas, on the other hand, roughly corresponds to that of the Greek expression paideia ("good upbringing", "education"). He who sincerely strives for education is extremely human; therefore what is specifically human - education - is called "humanity" (humanitas) .

The historian of philosophy Diogenes Laertios passed down classifications of terms from a pseudo-Aristotelian (wrongly attributed to Aristotle) ​​script. According to this source, philanthropy manifests itself in three ways: in a friendly welcome, in helpfulness to the unfortunate and in hospitality.

Philanthropy was also an important ruling virtue and characteristic of a good emperor among the Romans. Titus (79–81) was praised as an outstanding example of a philanthropic emperor . According to one of Suetonius traditional anecdote Titus, as he once remembered the evening that he had done anyone a blessing to the whole day, proclaimed: "Friends, I have lost a day!" The thought, however, was probably not new; apparently it is an allusion attributed to the emperor to a saying in the Greek language. The imperial philanthropia became a topos of the praise of the ruler, whereby the use of the adjective philanthropos in the elative ( philanthropotatos "most humane") was common. In Egypt in particular, the formulaic use of these words was widespread. Philanthropy was seen there under Roman rule as in the Ptolemaic times as a virtue of the public officials. They were expected not only from the emperor himself, but also from the representatives of the authorities, such as petitions and state documents preserved on papyrus .

Late antiquity

In late antiquity , the ideal of philanthropy came to the fore as a virtue and at the same time a duty of the powerful. A prominent representative of this concept was the rhetorician, philosopher and politician Themistios († after 388). Philanthropy was one of his core themes as an outstanding ruling virtue. The great state speech that he probably gave to Emperor Constantius II in the fall of 351 was entitled On Philanthropy . There he stated that the philanthropic ruler was perfect in terms of the virtue he needed for his task. Philanthropy can only occur together with the other virtues of rulership, because the philanthropist must inevitably be just and brave and exercise self-control. Each of these individual virtues - justice, bravery and self-control - could also be possessed by a private person, but if philanthropy were impressed on it, it would acquire the quality of a ruling virtue. The philanthropic ruler has great reverence for people; therefore he cannot offend a person lightly. For Themistius, philanthropy was the characteristic of a virtuous attitude by the powerful towards the weaker; He found it ridiculous to call a craftsman a philanthropist.

In Themistius' philosophy, God, as the most powerful being, is also the greatest human friend. The emperor's task is to imitate God and to become like him. Of the three qualities that make God's superiority - his immortality, his power, and his relentless care for people - the emperor can only appropriate one, the latter, to become godlike. Thus, his assimilation to the deity is that he behaves in a humane manner. This mainly includes the gentleness, which he should show not only towards his subjects, but towards all peoples. Such an attitude is worthwhile, because it brings the ruler the affection and voluntary cooperation of his subjects and impresses foreign peoples more than military force. Philanthropy thus brings about and secures the inner and outer peace of the empire. The emperor should receive a philosophical education that enables him to acquire the philanthropic sentiments. Orientation towards historical models helps him. Themistios assumed a close connection between philanthropy and education. He emphasized the teachability of philanthropy; the instruction can be found in the literature. The love of literature (philologia) produces love for people. With regard to the path to the development of human love, Themistius followed the stoic outline of social relations: The starting point was the love of siblings, followed by love of the family, followed by love of the country and finally the general love of humanity. As children of a divine Father, all human beings are ultimately siblings. The love for one's own species is not a peculiarity of humans, but can also be found in the animal kingdom. Themistios emphatically emphasized the difference between a philanthropic ruler and one who only focused on the interests of his own people. The famous Persian king Cyrus was only a friend of the Persians, not a philanthropist; Alexander the Great was only a Macedonian friend, not a Greek friend , and Emperor Augustus was a Roman friend. A philanthropic ruler, on the other hand, is one whose care does not exclude anyone.

In late antique imperial laws, humanitas ("humanity") was named as the maxim of the ruler's decisions, a virtue that essentially corresponds to Greek philanthropia . She expressed herself as mercy, indulgence, indulgence, compassion and concern for the subjects. Emperor Justinian I (527-565) emphasized the importance of philanthropy in his legislation. In his short stories , part of the Corpus iuris civilis , he emphasized the statement that he was a philanthropic ruler and that his laws were philanthropic in a broad sense. Philanthropy and justice are the highest human goods.

Coin portrait of Emperor Julians

In the pagan Neo-Platonism of late antiquity, philanthropy was closely associated with piety. The early Neo-Platonist Porphyrios († 301/305) already admitted to the conviction that philanthropy is the foundation of piety. The Emperor Julian (360–363), who was strongly influenced by Neoplatonic thinking, emphasized the importance of the philanthropy concept for the way religious people lived, and especially for the priesthood. Julian strove to revitalize the Roman religion and tried to push back Christianity. In traditional philosophical philanthropy he found a model that should compete with the Christian ideal of charity . He assumed the Christians had adopted the old concept of philanthropy and wrongly passed it off as genuinely Christian in order to advertise their religion. Like Themistios, Julian started from the idea that the deity was by nature friendly to people and therefore valued and expected a corresponding attitude among people. For him, piety was inextricably linked with philanthropic activity, because he believed that proper worship of God presupposed active philanthropy. This should primarily benefit the strangers and the poor, but it should also extend to the treatment of bad people and imprisoned criminals. In addition, humanity is also a consequence of the kinship of all people. The ruler's philanthropy shows itself in his mildness, his willingness to forgive and pardon, but also in charitable work. By emphasizing the aspect of helping the needy, Julian wanted to counter the intensive charitable activity of Christians with a pagan alternative. He urged the pagan priests to build poor houses and guest houses that should be open to all needy regardless of their religion. He made state funds available to carry out such measures. In principle, emergency aid should be given to everyone in need, but Julian made the extent to which he or she was worthy of support dependent on moral criteria; decent people are more generously cared for.

Julian's friend Libanios , an extremely esteemed and influential speaker , also showed a high degree of appreciation for philanthropy . He emphasized the specifically Greek character of the philanthropic attitude.

The ancient Christians were familiar with the concept of philanthropy from the Bible. In the New Testament , the noun philanthropia occurs twice, the adverb philanthrṓpōs once. According to the description in the Acts of the Apostles , the apostle Paul was treated benevolently as a prisoner (philanthrṓpōs) and after his shipwreck the locals showed him an extraordinary kindness (philanthropia) . In the letter of Titus there is talk of God's love for men. The word philanthropia is also used in the Septuagint , the ancient Greek version of the Tanach , but only in deuterocanonical writings. Nevertheless, philanthropy played a relatively minor role among church writers in the Latin-speaking West. In the thinking of the late ancient Greek church fathers, however, philanthropy occupied a prominent place. They were primarily concerned with philanthropy as a quality of God that man should acquire by imitating Christ. The incarnation of God was traced back to his philanthropy in connection with the relevant passage in Titus' epistle . In his biography of Emperor Constantine the Great, Eusebius of Caesarea emphasized his philanthropy, which the ruler had even shown towards heretics ( heretics ); Constantine was the most philanthropic person who ever lived. In the liturgy of the Eastern Roman Church, formulas were used with which God was characterized as "the good and philanthropic" (ho agathós kai philánthrōpos) or in other formulations as philanthropic.

Western church fathers criticized certain aspects of pagan philanthropy. Above all, they condemned the organization of games, which was traditionally counted as a charitable charity, as a waste of money. They attributed selfish motives to the pagan benefactors; they accused her of irresponsibly squandering her wealth for glory. It was also argued that the pursuit of fame was pointless because it was of no use to the dead; in addition, the works of the philanthropists are transitory, for example buildings could be destroyed by earthquakes, fire or an enemy attack.

The relationship between philanthropy and charity

In modern research, the question of continuity or discontinuity between pagan philanthropy and Christian charity is answered differently. The question is to what extent the ancient understanding of the Christian requirement to love one's “neighbor” was linked to already existing ideas of general human love. It is undisputed that Christian charity is fundamentally different from pagan philanthropy. Clear representatives of the direction that emphasize the discontinuity are Paul Veyne and Peter Brown . Veyne states that pagan charity and Christian charity differ “in terms of their ideology, their recipients, those involved, and their motivations and behavior”. Brown is of the opinion that in late antiquity, in the course of Christianization, a “revolution” took place in social ideas. The Christian “economic” model has taken the place of the conventional “bourgeois” social model of the pagan Roman elite. Characteristic of the old understanding of philanthropy is the orientation of charitable endeavors towards one's own city and its long-established citizens. In contrast to this, the new “economic” thinking of Christians has placed the universal, urban and rural contrast between rich and poor at the center and made the poor as such, regardless of their origin, an object of love and charity. Thus, the “poor-loving” ( φιλόπτωχος philóptōchos ) empire took the place of the pagan philanthropist . As a fundamental difference, it is emphasized that the philanthropic intervention according to the common pagan understanding should only benefit decent, worthy people undeservedly in need, whereas charity was owed to everyone regardless of his moral level. Pagan philanthropists expected gratefulness from the recipients, Christian benefactors hoped for retribution from God. Another difference is that pagan philanthropy usually includes the aspect of condescension and social distance between benefactor and beneficiary that is lacking in charity. On the other hand, research points to the adoption of the traditional terminology of philanthropy and related thoughts in Greek-language Christian texts. It speaks for the fact that Christians saw and affirmed at least partial continuity. The coexistence of pagan and Christian ideas in the fourth century led to mutual influence: pagan authors expanded the conventional understanding of philanthropy so that their ethics could compete with Christian ethics; Christians adopted the idea of ​​philanthropy as a ruling virtue and often used philanthropia in the sense of Christian love, the agape , although the two terms were not considered to be synonymous.

The philanthropic practice

Humanity was a popular topic in the public discourse of the classical period in Athens. With his glorification of Athenian philanthropy, Demosthenes painted a picture of his fellow citizens as compassionate and generous people who gladly rushed to the aid of local and foreign needy people. These were qualities that were also praised by other speakers and corresponded to the collective self-image of the Athenians. The historical sources show, however, that such representations are embellished. It was considered noble and praiseworthy to help strangers, but there was no moral obligation to do such deeds. In reality, the Athenians tended to be pragmatic and reticent, both politically and privately, in the face of foreign distress. Apparently they were not inclined to make sacrifices for foreign citizens or even for foreigners for the sake of humanity. A strong mutual willingness to help between relatives and friends, however, was generally expected and was considered a duty. Opportunities for humanitarian aid existed in particular for the sick and wounded, in ransom prisoners of fellow citizens and in cases of street crime. The extent of philanthropy actually practiced towards strangers is assessed differently in research. Matthew R. Christ is skeptical about the traditional image of the altruistic Athenians, while Rachel Sternberg and Gabriel Herman arrive at a more favorable assessment.

In ancient times, philanthropy was practiced primarily as a charity (euergesía) . In research one speaks of “ euergetism ” (from euergétēs “benefactor”). A benefactor in the philanthropic sense was anyone who provided help that was understood as a sign of benevolence, as there was no obligation to do so. Greek city-states awarded from the 5th century BC By decrees of individual persons who had rendered services to the public good, the honorary title euergetes . In the classical epoch, this formal honor was only given to strangers, not to fellow citizens, for example the king of Macedonia by the Athenians.

Athenian honorary inscription, 3./2. Century BC Chr.

The honorary title of benefactor was very common in the Hellenistic and Roman imperial periods. Often it was given to the foreign benefactors of a city not only as personal recognition, but also passed on to their descendants; this euergesia was hereditary. The beneficiaries of yours used to declare the honor in writing, in some cases even a statue was erected for him. This expressed the due and expected gratitude, while at the same time the hope for further benefits could have a motivating effect. Locals who had made special contributions to the common good were publicly honored in various ways. Gods and heroes (semi-divine mythical figures) were considered exemplary benefactors . They were ascribed philanthropia - a philanthropic outlook. It was believed that they would turn graciously to people and do them good. The benevolence of the rulers - both Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors - was perceived analogously. Rulers, some of whom already held a divine or god-like position during their lifetime, showed their grace and generosity through their philanthropic activities. Euergetism, traditional in the Greek-speaking east of the Roman Empire, also became an essential aspect of the social order in the cities in the western half of the empire. There, too, philanthropic activity became a means for the urban elites to demonstrate their power and prestige.

In material terms, philanthropy was practiced in the Hellenistic world and in the Roman Empire through individual donations or foundations. The foundation system made up an important part of philanthropic practice. The founder gave or left an endowment to the recipients of his charity. This could consist of capital, property for sale or a property intended for lease. The current income - interest or lease - enabled regular donations to the group of people determined by the founder, the foundation's assets remained untouched. The charities financed in this way (Latin beneficia ) were partly donations of money to the needy, partly periodic events such as celebrations, which in some places were connected with musical or sporting competitions. Some foundations were used to build and maintain public buildings, such as a library, while others were used to finance schools or to secure the livelihood of children from poor families. If the purpose was to support children, one speaks of an aliment foundation (from Latin alimentum "food", "means of subsistence"). Alimony foundations were mainly set up during the time of the adoptive emperors , with Emperor Trajan being particularly prominent.

The donors were mostly rulers or members of the wealthy urban elites, including women, but they were not always people of high social rank; even a wealthy freedman could set up a philanthropic foundation. The time of the adoptive emperors was the heyday of the Roman foundation system; later its importance declined sharply. For Africa it can be seen that the end of the Severan period in 235 formed a turning point. After the fall of the Severer dynasty, there was the imperial crisis of the 3rd century , which apparently had a negative effect on the foundation system. A major cause of the decline was the inflation, which led to a decline in income from the foundation's assets.

One of the motives of the donors was not only the wish to receive expressions of gratitude and honors during their lifetime; They often also attached great importance to the beneficiary communities or institutions ensuring that the memory of them or their relatives remained alive after their death. Inscriptions praised their generosity (munificentia, liberalitas) . The testamentary provisions of some founders show that it was often more about the interests of the founders than the welfare of the recipients, which stipulated that if their wishes were not fulfilled, other groups of people or communities should take the place of those initially considered.

Equestrian statue of the philanthropist Marcus Nonius Balbus (filius), erected at the city's expense by decision of the Herculaneum city ​​council ; Beginning of the 1st century AD

Generally speaking, benefactors of the imperial era generally had a strong desire to have their generosity documented. In the case of community campaigns by donors, lists with the names of the individual participants and details of the amount donated in each case were made known to the world and posterity in writing. Some benefactors were so interested in the public honor that they paid for the erection of a statue and an inscription in their own honor. Some donors also used smaller construction works such as a well enclosure or a single column as an opportunity to notify the public of their contribution in writing. The deceased's philanthropic acts were recognized in grave inscriptions. Love (amor, adfectio) is primarily mentioned in the honorary inscriptions as the motif of the philanthropists from the imperial era . References to piety (pietas) and benevolentia (benevolentia) are less common .

The importance of philanthropy for the internal functioning of cities is assessed differently in research. According to one line of research, euergetism was of great importance or was even the decisive factor for the social and financial functioning of cities during the Hellenistic and early and high imperial periods. Apparently some cities could not finance some of the public tasks on their own and were therefore dependent on the help of philanthropists. In urban construction projects in particular, private individuals sometimes had to provide the necessary funds. Another area in which philanthropists got involved was supplying the urban population with staple foods in times of food shortages. An alternative interpretation of the source material, however, shows a different picture for the imperial era. According to her, the financial strength of cities is often underestimated; they could provide the services for the basic needs of the citizens themselves, while the contributions of the euergetes were pleasant and welcome, but not indispensable and rather served the luxury and prestige of the city. The pronounced need for validity of the donors may have led to private charitable activities being much better documented in writing than communal services. It is therefore to be expected that the philanthropic contribution to the common good is overrepresented in the present inscription material.

In the Christianized empire of late antiquity, grants for charitable purposes - also in the form of foundations - continued to play an important role, albeit less so than in the heyday. The fact that a growing proportion of the funds available for donations went to the church contributed to the decline in euergetism. The main motive for private Christian charity was not philanthropic in the traditional sense; it was the fulfillment of a religious duty that resulted from the biblical commandment of Christian charity. However, a considerable number of late antique inscriptions testify to the continuation of traditional philanthropic activity. Examples are the restoration of thermal baths and their water pipes as well as other public buildings, the erection of statues and the construction of roads and wells. The most important achievements of the philanthropists concerned buildings, with restorations of old buildings being more common than new buildings; but also games, banquets and theater performances were financed by them. An important motive was the endeavor to make oneself popular in order to gain offices and honors. The traditional ambition and spirit of competition remained alive; In 375, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus wrote in a letter to his father that the dignitaries of Benevento had competed to use their wealth for the beautification of the city. After an earthquake, they showed such generosity that little was left of their fortune.

Byzantine Empire

While in medieval Western and Central Europe charity was only understood as an expression of Christian charity and mercy, in the Byzantine Empire the ancient idea of ​​active philanthropy remained alive. For the Byzantines, philanthropia was one of the most important imperial virtues. The historian Theophylaktos Simokates reports that before his death , Emperor Tiberios I (578-582) admonished his son-in-law and successor Maurikios (582-602) to let philanthropy control his anger. Addresses to early Byzantine emperors contained a reference to the ruling philanthropy. The topos of imperial philanthropy, including the ideas traditionally associated with it (imitation of the goodness of God, grace, mildness, humanity, generosity) remained common in the further course of Byzantine history. Emperor Constantine VII (913–959) stated that it fell to the emperor to be a benefactor to everyone. If he loses the virtue of philanthropy, he goes against his empire. When interpreting the law, he must proceed in a philanthropic spirit. The scholar and historian Michael Psellos considered benevolence to be the virtue most characteristic of a ruler. According to an anecdote handed down by Psellos, Emperor Constantine IX was. (1042-1055) believed that he could no longer consider himself an emperor if he had not done any philanthropic deed for his subjects in one day. A number of other sources from the middle and late Byzantine period confirm the persistent spread of the conviction that philanthropy must be a basic characteristic of the emperor. The voluntary commitment that a new emperor had to make in the coronation oath before his coronation included the promise that he would be philanthropic .

Philanthropy was not only ascribed to the emperors, but also touted as a special virtue of the Byzantines compared to other peoples. After the presentation of Theophylactus, the ambassadors of the Emperor Maurikios negotiating with the Khagan of the Avars declared that the " Romans " (Byzantines) were peace-loving and indulgent, since they were superior to all other peoples in philanthropy. Theophylactus also reports that the Byzantines had an excellent reputation abroad for their philanthropy. In the 9th century the patriarch Photios I asked the emperor Basil I for leniency, because this befits the ruler of the "highly philanthropic people of the Romans (Byzantines)". Photios recommended the Bulgarian ruler Boris I to be an example of justice and philanthropy to his subjects, because the ruler's attitude became a guideline for the people. In the early 10th century the Patriarch Nikolaos I Mystikos denied the rumor that the mosque in Constantinople had been destroyed; he wrote to the caliph that the Roman (Byzantine) people had many virtues, of which philanthropy and reasonable leniency (epieíkeia) were the most important. This is a globally recognized fact that is confirmed by all of history. This self-image was still relevant in the 14th century; Emperor John VI Kantakuzenos (1347-1354), who was also active as a historian, described the Byzantines as a people for whom the multitude of their philanthropic achievements was characteristic.

In theological literature, the term philanthropia was a common name for God's love for people as well as for Christian charity and its active implementation. The words philanthopia and agápē (altruistic love) were used interchangeably, and Christ was often referred to simply as "the philanthropist."

State, church and private philanthropy expressed itself materially in the founding and maintenance of numerous charitable institutions. These included pilgrim hostels , orphanages , poor houses , old people's homes and hospitals, including special hospitals for lepers . In the 10th century, the philanthropic institutions had become so numerous that Emperor Nikephoros II (963–969) prohibited new foundations; he believed that all resources available for charity should go to existing institutions. This provision was reversed by Basil II (976-1025), who disagreed completely.

Islamic world

In Islam, a distinction is made between the zakāt, which is mandatory for all Muslims and intended for charitable purposes, and voluntary, religiously motivated donations ( ṣadaqa ). The terminology is not always consistent, however, ṣadaqa can also include the tax zakāt. Voluntary donations can be mere alms or serve a sustainable improvement of living conditions in the sense of philanthropic activity. Non-Muslims can also be considered as recipients. In numerous hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Mohammed ) the extraordinary importance of ṣadaqa is emphasized. The donor is promised that his charity will save him from hell . He should not expect any consideration or appreciation from the recipient, but trust that God will reward him.

Even in the early days of Islam, a religious foundation system developed within the framework of ṣadaqa. Although nothing can be found in the Koran, hadiths have been handed down that are traditionally cited to justify the foundation system. According to a hadith, the Prophet advised one of his companions, the future caliph ʿUmar ibn al-Chattāb , to make the most valuable piece of land that ʿUmar owned inalienable and to use the proceeds of it for charity. Thereupon ʿUmar stipulated that this land property could not be sold, inherited or given away, but was to be handed over to an administrator who would use the income for the poor, slaves, travelers and guests, among other things. In the beginning, the term ḥabs was used for foundations of this type , later the term waqf became common .

According to Islamic law, the founder can determine the purpose of the foundation and the group of beneficiaries within what is legally permissible at his own discretion. The foundation's assets can consist of real estate or movable goods. A group of people or an institution, such as a mosque or school, determined by the founder can benefit. Non-Muslims are also allowed to set up foundations. Only some of the foundations serve charitable purposes, whereby traditionally - according to the recommendation of the prophet - the welfare of the poor plays an important role.

General philanthropy in Chinese philosophy

In the Chinese philosophy of the "classical period" (" Hundred Schools ", 6th – 3rd centuries BC), philanthropy or philanthropy was one of the important issues. In Mohism , the ideal of “general human love” was developed, which should be elevated to the basic principle of order in the state and society.

Main features of the different models

In Confucianism , which in the 6th / 5th Century BC Doctrine introduced by the philosopher Kǒng Fūzǐ ( Confucius ), “humanity” ( , ren ) is a central concept. The word was originally identical with the word "man"; Even in pre-Confucian times it was given the additional meaning of "humanity" in the sense of a philanthropic attitude. Kǒng Fūzǐ and also the later Confucians saw in the " filial piety " towards the parents the basis of the entire ethic. Loyalty to other family members and to more distant relatives was considered an extension of this piety. Based on this, the demand for consideration and respectful behavior was extended to relationships with people who were not blood relatives: “Humanity” was also required when dealing with neighbors, fellow citizens and ultimately all people. The extent of the specific duties that arose from this was graduated; it was based on the closeness of the relationship with the other person. Since proximity depended on origin, family loyalty to other values ​​and consideration for strangers took priority in the event of a conflict. Because of the ethical priority of the needs of the closest person, it was even expected that the misconduct of close relatives would be covered.

An alternative to the model of Confucian ethics developed in the 5th and early 4th centuries BC. The thinker Mo Di (also Me Ti, Mozi, Mo-tsu, Mo-tse), the founder of the "Mohism" named after him. Mo Di introduced the concept of “general human love” (兼 愛, jian ai ) into Chinese philosophy. He made general philanthropy the basic concept of his entire ethics and opposed it to the gradual philanthropy of the Confucians. He considered the Confucian principle of a graded humanity based on descent to be wrong from the outset. Like Confucius, he embraced the ideal of a humane, optimally organized society, but he wanted to achieve it in the opposite direction. The basic building block should not be family loyalty, but rather love that encompasses all people equally and generally does not favor anyone. The social order within the family should also be derived from this and not from the relationship.

The connection or equation of humanity with love ( ai or qin ) was not limited to Mohism; it was also represented by Confucian and Daoist authors. The very influential Confucian Mengzi (4th century BC) wrote that a person with a human mind loves people; his contemporary Zhuangzi , an authoritative representative of Daoism, gave the definition: "To love people and to be of benefit to [all] beings is called humanity." The Confucian Xunzi (3rd century BC) also put humanity and love alike. In order to understand such texts, however, it is essential that the Chinese authors use the term love not to include everything that is part of it according to widespread Western ideas. What is meant is a feeling of affection, which can also be expressed with “benevolence”, and the resulting attitude of mildness, friendliness, consideration and care; emotional intensity does not have to be associated with it. Mengzi placed great emphasis on his teaching that man is naturally good and philanthropic. He tried to prove the anchoring of humanity in nature by pointing out the compassion that every person naturally feels spontaneously, even towards strangers, and that is the germ of humanity. The emotional aspect of humanity, philanthropy, was quite prominent in his version of Confucianism.

The sober, pragmatic character of the understanding of love of the early Chinese philosophers, which is sober and pragmatic in comparison with traditional Western concepts, is particularly evident in Mohism. Mo Di thought in a utilitarian way , he proceeded from considerations of utility and did not regard human love as an end in itself, but advocated it because of its usefulness. His argument was that it was the best basis for all people to live together; if “everyone in the world loved one another”, “in the end the whole world would be in peace and order”, war and crime would be excluded. The sobriety of the philanthropy propagated by Mo Di is also shown in the fact that he considered it to be commandable and believed that it could be introduced collectively by order. He justified this with the argument that people could, for example, be ordered to fast or fight, and such orders would be carried out, even if they were pointless and harmful and painful or even life-threatening for the obedient. Instructions from superiors are also followed when it comes to clothing. If it is possible to force people to behave in a way that is disadvantageous for them, it would have to be all the more possible to order human love that is only beneficial for everyone. Another reason why Mo Di thought his program was feasible was because he was firmly convinced that it had already been implemented by the exemplary rulers of antiquity. These ideal kings loved the people, as can be seen from the sources.

In order to increase the attractiveness of his social model, Mo Di even added a religious component to his teaching. He claimed that "heaven" as well as gods and spirits were interested in the use of the world and deprecated the prevailing social ills. Therefore, reward for desirable, philanthropic behavior and punishment for wrongdoing can be expected from them. At least a belief in such superhuman instances is helpful for establishing general philanthropy. Faith is therefore to be promoted, because it is useful, even if there really are no gods and spirits. Thus, as a consequentialist , Mo Di also viewed religion from the point of view of its usefulness. He fought lavish religious rituals; they are inhumane because their high costs lead to the impoverishment of the people. In later Mohism, religious argument took a back seat.

Mo Di thought it was basically possible that the principle of general philanthropy would prevail due to its advantages even without state funding. Most promising, however, is the introduction by a ruler who takes pleasure in it. If a ruler decides to establish it in his realm and creates incentives through rewards and penalties, then it must prevail there. It is as certain as fire rises up and water flows down. Following this conviction, Mo Di advocated a strong, authoritarian state that should guarantee philanthropy. Specifically, he called for long-term care for single elderly people, care for orphans and support for all those in need. The basis for this is an attitude based on the principle of universality.


The question of whether human love should grow out of dealing with one's own family and the neighborhood, or whether universal human love should be the starting point from the outset, was controversial in the early days of Chinese philosophy. The Confucians Mengzi and Xunzi polemicized against Mohism, which did not accept any differences or degrees of love, which Mengzi considered inhuman and Xunzi politically disastrous. Mengzi thinks that the principle of mohistic universal love does not know a father, but without a father man becomes an animal. Xunzi believed that Mohism made proper government impossible. Mo Di did not deny the value of family loyalty, but refused to rank it above other ethical duties. Those who love their own father more than the father of their neighbors are crazy. A respectful son also wants the neighbors to love and benefit his father; therefore, following the same maxim, he must show love for his neighbor's father. The same applies to the federal states; no more importance should be attached to one's own country than to a foreign one. The preference for one's own social or political unit is the basic evil of humanity. It must be replaced by a new, opposite principle. Anyone who is humanly-minded does not plan for the world any differently than a pious child does for relatives.

A central starting point for criticism of the mohistic general human love was its utilitarian justification. Mohism called philanthropy not as the fulfillment of a moral duty independent of success, but because it promises a gain for the practitioner. Although Mo Dis's personal unselfishness was also recognized by the opposing side, representatives of rival schools - Confucians, Daoists and legalists - objected to utilitarianism, claiming that the grounds for philanthropy, appealing to self-interest, were not valid. From a Confucian point of view, it was argued that putting the criterion of utility in front of them would leave any norm at the mercy of arbitrariness. Daoist criticism was that ultimately the most ruthless would benefit from philanthropy. Legalists asserted that the philanthropist could be humane to others, but not make them follow his example.

Han Yu (768–824), a well-known Confucian at the time of the Tang Dynasty , advocated a rapprochement between the Muslim and Confucian teachings. In New Confucianism , which spread from the 11th century onwards, the discussion about the mohistic philanthropy concept was taken up. The New Confucian thinkers clung to the traditional negative view. Wang Yangming (1472–1529), a leading exponent of New Confucianism, was of the opinion that Mo Di's philanthropy had “no roots” and that a tree could not sprout without a root. Therefore it cannot be seen as a teaching of humanity.

Ideas about human love from the early days of Chinese philosophy were still the subject of contemporary debates in the 20th century. In the 1950s , Mao Zedong commented on this in his speeches to writers and artists in new China at the Yenan conference . He turned against the notion of “comrades” who demanded “abstract”, “general philanthropy above classes”. This is unrealistic, because an all-embracing human love has not existed since the division of mankind into classes. Confucius had asked for it, but it was never realized because it was impossible in a class society. For the future, however, Mao was optimistic: "The true love for humanity will certainly come one day, but only after the classes in the world have been eliminated."

Early modern age

Theory of Philanthropy and Philanthropy

In the early modern period , the term “philanthropy” initially referred to general human love and also God's love for human beings. The theologian Johann Arndt (1555–1621) already spoke of “human love” as a prerequisite for harmony with God . This term was later taken up in pietistic circles; it was primarily about the philanthropia of God mentioned in Titus' letter .

With the onset of the early enlightenment, philanthropic human love became the subject of a new philosophical reflection . It was often mixed up with Christian love of neighbor or factually equated, but sometimes also clearly differentiated from it.

At the beginning of the early Enlightenment discussion of the subject were the considerations of the natural law theorist Samuel von Pufendorf (1632–1694). He advocated a concept of "sociability" (socialitas) , by which he understood a benevolent affection for everyone. He considered this to be a disposition that can be traced back to human nature. He justified “general love” (communis amor) according to natural law with the unity of human nature. In doing so, he placed a fundamental secular concept alongside Christian charity. In socialitas , unaffected by considerations of utility , he saw the basic principle of rational natural law.

Christian Thomasius, portrait by Johann Christian Heinrich Sporleder

Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) followed up on Pufendorf's theory of natural law . He viewed human love as a natural given and saw in it a characteristic of the human being that served to determine his essence. According to his doctrine of love, a distinction is to be made between a “reasonable” and an “unreasonable” love. Sensible love is the source of meekness, generosity, and mercy. She is not only free from sensual desire, but also from lust for honor and fame. A distinction must be made between two forms according to the respective object: the “general” love, which relates to all people, and the “peculiar” love, the affection for certain people. The ground of all love is an equality: universal love is based on the equality of human nature, the particular love on the agreement of virtuous or at least virtuous minds. Both are virtues. They condition each other; On the one hand, the special love has to be oriented towards the general and must not come into opposition to it; on the other hand, the general is perfected by the special. If all people were virtuous, or even virtuous, the two types of love would coincide. Thomasius names the virtues of affability (humanitas) , truthfulness (veracitas) , modesty (modestia) , compatibility (mansuetudo) and patience (patientia) as aspects of general love . In his teaching, in contrast to traditional Christian models, human love is not made dependent on the love of God, but rather valued as an independent natural given and placed at the center. With this, Thomasius proves himself to be a representative of a new enlightenment ethic with a worldly objective, which does not reduce human love to love of God, but rather love of God to love of humanity. An essential aspect is the promise that the sensible lover will also achieve his own calmness and thus happiness through his attitude.

Christian Wolff (1679–1754) did not use the expression “love of people”, but was concerned with the idea of ​​a general love for people. He saw in it a natural impulse that moves people to promote the well-being of others as much as possible. The motivation for this is the striving for pleasure, because people only want what brings them pleasure or pleasure. By promoting the happiness of others, he can gain his own pleasure. Love for others is the willingness to “draw pleasure” from the happiness of others. This pleasure is equal to that which arises from one's own happiness. The ideal state would be achieved if, in this sense, all people loved one another as they loved themselves. Then there would be no shortage, because everyone would willingly "promote the other's welfare" in his own interest. Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766) followed up on Wolff's thoughts . He defined universal human love as the ability to comply with the "law of nature" with regard to the whole human race. This law makes it everyone's duty to love all people. A virtuous man derives pleasure from the welfare of mankind. He does not deprive anyone of general philanthropy. This is aimed equally at foreigners and locals, young and old, friends and enemies. The main obstacles that stand in the way of human love are envy and ambition.

Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746) tried to show in a study published in 1725 that man inherently possesses moral principles, that is, these are not to be regarded as artificial products, and that morality cannot be traced back to self-love. One of his arguments was that there is a “bond of benevolence” that extends to all of humanity and also includes completely strangers in distant parts of the world, whose fate can only be read. Here there is a demonstrably unselfish affect.

Christian Fürchtegott Gellert wrote a poem of 212 verses, which he gave the title Die Menschenliebe when it was first published in 1743 ; from 1748 he called it The Philanthropist . In it he formulated the educational social ethics programmatically. In prose he covered the same subject in his moral lectures . There he wrote that human love is "really nothing but the sincere and strong desire to promote the welfare of all reasonable creatures on earth to the best of our ability", since they all have the same divine origin and are the object of the universal love of the Creator. This drive is "very extinct" in human nature, but still there. It can be reinforced by the power of reason. Philanthropy should not be a mere surge of affect, but should be governed by wisdom and prudence. Above all, the philanthropist ensures the spread and maintenance of wisdom and virtue, because these goods are the greatest happiness of people.

Christian August Crusius, engraving by Johann Martin Bernigeroth, 1747

Christian August Crusius (1715–1775) said that there is a “natural connection between people” in the fact that they “have a natural love for people”. The “drive of natural human love” must be a general drive. Its cause is that the general virtues of human nature are very important; they are suitable for awakening love. The natural instinct to love people is said to be of indescribable benefit, because without it the social duties would "be transgressed much more badly". However, Crusius saw in general human love not only the result of a natural instinct, but also a duty, namely “the highest duty of natural law ”. Man owes God the fulfillment of this duty. Since God loves all human beings and regards them as “ultimate ends”, human beings are obliged to “also truly love” all of their fellow human beings. In addition, love for people is also a requirement of prudence, since it makes one's own life pleasant and “others incline to serve us”. However, according to Crusius' ethics, general philanthropy does not apply to all to the same extent. This would only be necessary if all people were virtuous, and with the same "seriousness of their endeavors". Then they would all be loved “equally” by God and their love for one another would also have to be the same. But since this is not the case, the required human love is graduated. One should love everyone according to the degree of his virtue, just as God loves people because of their respective virtues. But one owes everyone equally to “promote their best”. It is part of philanthropy that one has “a constant cheerfulness to serve others with pleasure”, that one looks for the opportunity and accepts it with pleasure.

Johann Gottfried Herder, oil painting by Anton Graff , 1785, Gleimhaus Halberstadt

Johann Gottfried Herder wrote a sermon in the 1760s with the title Human Love as the Fulfillment of the Law of Christianity . There he stated that human love was one of the impulses that made up “the foundation of our heart” and “the fabric of our nature”. At present, however, mankind finds itself in "a general age of polite deception", in a "deluge of expressions of friendship" that are "only the show of human love". The human heart is pampered by “a thousand courtesy deceptions” that are said to each other in the face and “hardened” by “a thousand fashion compliments” for true human friendship. So let the firm, hard bark of habit surround all of human nature and put the mind to sleep. The word “philanthropist” is as generous as the term “friend”, “without feeling both”. Anyone who noisily expels “a few brilliant actions” and brags about a few good deeds is called a philanthropist. But you can only find out what his character is really like if you accompany him over the threshold of his house. Then one can see that the supposed benefactor exploits others, flags subordinates with injustice and cruelty and lives in quarrels and strife with his relatives. A true philanthropist is gentle, cheerful and calm, he shows "trust in the good nature of mankind and respect for the dignity of the same".

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing dealt with the concept of philanthropy in the poetics of Aristotle in his Hamburg Dramaturgy in 1768 . He rejected the interpretation - considered correct by today's research - according to which “philanthropic” means “poetic justice” as that which the theater audience welcomes. Rather, it should be understood as "the sympathetic feeling of humanity" that one also brings towards the bad guy who has fallen into disaster. This feeling arises even when "the misfortune that befell the villain is a direct consequence of his crime". It is about a love of people "which we can under no circumstances lose completely against our neighbors".

Isaak Iselin (1728–1782) went into philanthropy in his writings Philosophical and Patriotic Dreams of a Philanthropist (1755) and Philanthropic Prospects of Honest Youths (1775). He believed that philanthropy is expressed “first of all in charity, directly inducing a pleasant sensation in another”. The pleasure of doing good to others necessarily gives rise to the pleasure of participation or sympathy. The sensations resulting from charity are "infinitely more noble" than the pleasures of enjoyment. Therefore, it could happen that a benefactor becomes more important the well-being of others than his own. The drive to do good can only have an effect within the limits of what is possible, but in itself it is general and unrestricted. Human friendship aims to make life richer and more fruitful in terms of pleasure and comfort. Those who do not do philanthropy lead a ignoble and animal life.

In the very influential work Emile published in 1762 or on the education of Jean-Jacques Rousseau , the importance of human love in education is emphasized. The human species should be honored and children should be taught to love all people, including those who disregard others. In front of the children one should speak of man as a species with emotion and compassion, never with contempt.

Justus Möser (1720–1794) was an opponent of the idea of ​​philanthropy . In the 1770s he stated that the expression “philanthropy” was not even known in his youth, but had been in vogue for some time. In his opinion, the "newfangled philanthropy" contributed to the decline of morals and the prevalence of state social institutions.

In the First French Republic proclaimed in 1792 , the idea of ​​philanthropy was taken up. In 1793/94 the alphabet des sans-culottes appeared , a representation of the fundamentals of "republican education"; there the teaching of the masterminds of the French Revolution was given that one should worship the Supreme Being, obey the laws and "love people". Among the 36 national holidays that Maximilien Robespierre set in 1794, the festival of the benefactors of mankind was. The Jacobins viewed themselves as philanthropists and saw in the revolution the victory of philanthropy.

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant expressed himself in 1797 in his work Die Metaphysik der Sitten . He understood “philanthropy” from a practical point of view as a moral requirement. It should not be understood as pleasure in the perfection of other people, not as "love of pleasure", because then it would be a feeling; but there could be no obligation by others to have a feeling. Rather, one has to think of love as a “maxim of benevolence” which results in “beneficence”. According to Kant's definition, a philanthropist or philanthropist is someone who takes pleasure in the “well-being” of people “as far as he merely regards them as such”, and who “feels good when everyone else is well”. There is a duty to mutual benevolence that embraces all people, including those who are not amiable. It includes the whole species and thus also the subject itself; thus one is obliged to show benevolence to oneself as well as to all others. Charity consists in "helping" people in need to their happiness, "without hoping for anything". This is every person's duty. The decisive factor is the maxim to make the well-being of others an end. Reason compels people to accept this maxim as a general law. If you yourself are in need, you expect help from others; this is only possible without contradiction if one always adheres to the philanthropic maxim. If a rich man is charitable, he is hardly acting meritoriously, since it does not cost him any sacrifice and he thus gives himself pleasure. He should therefore carefully avoid "all appearances", he wanted to impose an obligation of gratitude on the beneficiaries, because such a "commitment" is always perceived as degrading. It is best to practice the charity in secret. Furthermore, Kant pointed out that the ability to engage in philanthropy requires the possession of "good fortune". But this is largely the result of the favoring of individuals by the injustice of the government, which has led to inequality of prosperity and thus made charity necessary. Under such circumstances it is questionable whether the support given by the rich man to those in need is to be regarded as charity at all. On the basis of such considerations, Kant introduced a distinction between the “philanthropist” and the “philanthropist”. The expression “friend of the people” has a narrower meaning. For the philanthropist, the idea of ​​and taking to heart the equality of all people is decisive. The relationship of the philanthropist - the benefactor and protector - to the protected and thankful person is not a friendship because of the inequality between them.

Philanthropic Education

Johann Bernhard Basedow, copper engraving by Daniel Chodowiecki

Philanthropy became the key concept in philanthropism (or philanthropinism), an educational reform movement initiated by Johann Bernhard Basedow . Basedow formulated his program in 1768 in the text Presentation to Human Friends . In 1774 he founded the Philanthropinum in Dessau , an educational institution that was designed as a non-denominational "school of human friendship". The Dessau Philanthropinum, which was built thanks to the support of many donors, had to be closed as early as 1793, but became the model for numerous similar foundations in Germany and Switzerland. Among the prominent representatives of this reform direction were Joachim Heinrich Campe (1746-1818), who wrote an extensive standard work, Ernst Christian Trapp (1745-1818), the theoretician of the movement and first German professor for education, and the school founder Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744 -1811). The starting point of the reform program was the conviction that social ills were due to ignorance, which was the result of a failure in school lessons. The solution consists in a natural and systematic education in thought, with which the students are instructed in the use of reason. In this way the goal of religious tolerance can also be realized. "Civil usefulness" was also named as the purpose of popular philanthropic education. The basis of the concept was an unwavering belief in the educability and need for education of humans.

Basedow justified the ethics not religiously, but with human love. In this he saw an innate instinct, which, however, in its most original form as sympathy is only weak. To strengthen it, the incentives offered by role models, moral doctrine and religion are necessary. This should be done within the framework of a systematic education to love people. Basedow considered general human love to be more important than love for the family, the neighborhood or the fatherland. It benefits not only others, but also the practitioner himself, for it gives him pleasure and is the main source of his own happiness. The pedagogue Peter Villaume (1746–1825), a well-known spokesman for the philanthropist movement, also emphasized the importance of human love expressed through charity. In his treatise Education for Human Love (1784) he developed a program with egalitarian features. In particular, he fought against the class spirit, the usual disdain for the lower classes on the part of the nobles. He wanted to get over this attitude with educational means. He wrote that one should introduce among children the relationship that exists between the philanthropic rich and poor: the rich help with their wealth and the poor with their strength. As an incentive to develop a philanthropic attitude, one should use ambition. He considered patriotism to be dispensable; the fatherland is a "phantom", therefore one should not awaken the love of the fatherland in the youth, but the love of people.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi with orphans in Stans , oil painting by Konrad Grob , 1879

The reform pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi followed a different approach than Basedow . For him it was not about the children of the educated middle class, but about those from the socially weakest class. Accordingly, he formulated his philanthropy concept in 1777: "The philanthropist must go down to the lowest hut of misery, must see the poor in his dark room, his wife in the kitchen full of smoke and his child at the almost impossible day's work."

Philanthropic Social Welfare

There was already an extensive foundation system in the late Middle Ages ; numerous hospitals, poor houses and poor charities profited from the charity of the donors. In 1458, Cardinal Nikolaus von Kues and his siblings established the St. Nikolaus Hospital (Cusanusstift) in Kues on the Moselle. Even in the early modern period, parts of the elite took on tasks in the areas of social welfare and the promotion of culture. In the 16th century, the Fugger merchant family in Augsburg used the establishment of foundations as a means of social advancement. In competition with the nobility and the urban patriciate , the Fuggers put their economic performance and innovation against tradition and origin. They practiced both art patronage and charity. Jakob Fugger founded the Fuggerei in 1521 , a housing estate for needy families in Augsburg that still exists today. The aim was to prevent them from sliding into begging. In 1763 the Frankfurt doctor Johann Christian Senckenberg established the Dr. Senckenberg Foundation , which was used to finance a community hospital and a medical institute.

A new understanding of social welfare made itself felt as early as the early 16th century, which later became widespread. A spokesman in this direction was the humanist Juan Luis Vives , who in 1526 presented a concept for the reorganization of the poor system to the city council of Bruges . He called for compulsory work for all those able to work, a complete elimination of begging and the administration of donations and foundations under city supervision. Funding should continue to be on a voluntary basis through benefactors. The proposed Vives policy ( "Yperner arms order") has been adopted by several cities in what is now Belgium and by Emperor Charles V in favor.

During the Enlightenment, the church-based tradition of social welfare was increasingly viewed as questionable. Its ideal basis, the mercy shaped by piety and charity, met with criticism in principle in the circles of the leading enlightenmentists. In addition to anti-clerical attitudes, this was also based on the idea that charitable activity was counterproductive, as it did not reduce the number of the poor, but increased it. Mercy offers an incentive to be lazy and enables people to forego gainful employment. Instead, educational measures should be taken to eliminate the causes of social ills - especially begging. Philanthropy should accordingly be oriented towards the common good. The creation of jobs was considered the greatest benefit. This view corresponded to the basic attitude of bourgeois society, which regarded "idleness" as the social evil par excellence.

In the bourgeoisie the view was asserted that wealth is not intended for mere enjoyment, but rather obliges its owner to act responsibly for the common good. Anyone who evades this duty is not a useful member of society. This was one aspect of the generalized bourgeoisie of utility thinking. In this sense, Christoph Martin Wieland expressed himself in 1770 , who at the same time pointed out that one can win the hearts of fellow citizens through charity.

In 1780, Charles-Pierre-Paul Savalette de Langes and six like-minded people founded the Société Philanthropique de Paris , initially under the name Maison Philanthropique , the first association of the modern age serving the welfare of the poor, whose name followed on from the ancient tradition. It still exists today. The initiative, which in the early days was mainly supported by Freemasons and developed in the context of the Enlightenment, was shaped by a Masonic, non-denominational spirit. In a manifesto from 1787, the Société described philanthropic charity as “the citizen's first duty”. It is one of the most important tasks of people to "do good for their own kind, increase their happiness, alleviate their suffering". The Société broke with the Christian tradition of mercy and almsgiving in the hope of God's reward. In its place, she put philanthropy as a universal civil virtue of one's own worth. Support was given to the “worthy” poor (pauvres méritants) , that is, those whose poverty was not attributed to their own fault . The philanthropists did not consider people to be worthy of support whose plight was attributed to an unreasonable way of life and a lack of willingness to work. In 1788 the Philanthropic Society was founded in London , which was dedicated to the fight against juvenile delinquency. In 1828, the Société de Bienfaisance Urbaine was founded in Brussels , which was soon renamed Société Royale de Philanthropie . Their aim was to prevent begging and, above all, to help the poor in the capital.

In the Enlightenment, however, there were widespread reservations about philanthropic foundations. Both the Enlightenment movement and the absolutist states took a critical to negative attitude. Enlightenment figures - including Immanuel Kant - were of the opinion that it was irrational for every generation to remain bound by the will of long-dead donors. Therefore one should grant the state the right to override the will of the founders. In France all foundations were abolished after the revolution.


Philosophical assessments of general philanthropy in the 19th century

Johann Gottlieb Fichte took a position in 1806 in his treatise The Instructions for a Blessed Life or the Doctrine of Religion . He polemically opposed a common understanding of philanthropy, according to which one should “always be good and let everything be good”. The cause of this way of thinking is an "absolute flatness and inner dissolution of a spirit that can neither love nor hate". The “sensual bliss of the human race”, remaining in a comfortable mood, cannot be the goal of true human love. Rather, this strives for happiness for people “in the ways of the divine order”. This includes the refusal to gloss over the existing situation. Fichte described general human love as a "basic trait of the moral character". The object of love, "in relation to which and for the sake of which one wants all that one wants", is "in the case of morality all humanity".

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel rejected love that embraced all people. He thought it was an "abstract"; "The heart, which wants to enclose the whole of humanity in itself, is an empty spreading out to the mere idea, to the opposite of real love". Real love can only be directed towards a few people.

Arthur Schopenhauer rejected Kant's definition of human love as a virtue. It is based on a far too broad expansion of the term duty. Justice and philanthropy are not duties; rather, they are the two “cardinal virtues” from which all other virtues can be derived. The common root of both is compassion. Philanthropy is a feminine virtue in which women surpass men. It is not based on any argument and does not need any. The sole source of unselfish acts of philanthropy is direct, instinctive participation in the suffering of others.

Ludwig Feuerbach

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872) assumed that the secret core of religion was the identity of the divine being with the human. Religion is "the behavior of man towards his own being as another, but at the same time again philanthropic, humane" being. Love reveals the hidden ground of religion by universalizing; it makes God a universal being, whose love is one with the love of man. By nature, it does not tolerate any barriers and overcomes any particularity. The human being is an object of love because, as a being capable of reason and love, he is an end in itself. "So whoever loves man for man's sake, whoever rises to the love of the species, to universal love appropriate to the nature of the species, is Christian, he is Christ himself." Feuerbach justified this assertion with the fact that Christ is the representative of Consciousness of the species. However, this is not clear to religious people. But now it is time to recognize that the absolute being that man can and should love and revere is nothing other than human nature. The love for human beings must not be derived, but must become the original. Only then will it become “a true, holy, reliable power”. “Man is God to man” - if this knowledge is made the highest practical principle, world history will reach its turning point.

Friedrich Nietzsche was of a different opinion . He fought against the idea of ​​general philanthropy. It is a utopia, the realization of which would be an excruciating and ridiculous condition. If it existed on the basis of a general, indomitable drive, Nietzsche believed that one would insult and curse it, just as one would have done with selfishness, because it would be perceived as a nuisance. If introduced, one would long for solitude and the poets would glorify selfishness. In practice, the general love of people is "the preference for all who suffer, those who have come down badly and who have degenerated". The prosperity of the human species, however, serves the opposite: the downfall of the failed, weak and degenerate. Genuine human love is hard, it aims at what is best for the species and requires that unsuitable individuals be sacrificed to the higher-value interests of the species. One must be honest with oneself and know one another very well in order to be able to “practice that philanthropic disguise which is called love and goodness”. The benefits that are received are "more serious than all misfortunes", because the benefactor wants to exercise power. "Let yourself be loved" is mean; It corresponds to a noble disposition not to accept anything without giving back.

The discourse on general philanthropy in the 20th century

In the 20th century, the voices of the critics clearly predominated in the philosophical discourse, who judged the ideal of general human love as unrealistic and often as undesirable from different approaches. There was also criticism from a psychological point of view.

Advocate of general philanthropy

Hermann Cohen wrote in 1915 in his treatise The Concept of Religion in the System of Philosophy , where compassion began, then love for people had to emerge. Human love is the religious form of the social relationship between human beings and human beings and poverty is the optical means of discovering people as fellow human beings and thus as a natural object of social human love. In addition, Cohen maintained that the “primal force of human love” and not the instinct for activity gave birth to the artistic instinct. Man longingly looks for man and finds him in art; the work of art is created out of an aesthetic love for human nature. “If there were no religion, then art would be the revelation of man.” In contrast to religious philanthropy, aesthetic love is not directed towards an individual, but towards a type; for them the individual is only matter, not content.

Leonard Nelson (1882–1927) found a new definition of active general philanthropy. This could not be a general pleasure in people, because that would be an ideal that is unrealistic, due to "an idealization of people that contradicts the requirements of the love of truth". However, human love can only be realized if it is understood as benevolence. Such love operates with the aim of giving people the opportunity to satisfy their true interests through self-activity. This goal inevitably results from benevolence, because man, as a reasonable being, can only achieve a valuable life through self-activity. Human love expresses itself in the pursuit of enlightenment for people, that is, to illuminate their true interests.

Erich Fromm (1900–1980) emphatically advocated “love for all human beings” in his influential work, Die Kunst des Liebens , published in 1956 . It is the most fundamental kind of love that underlies all other forms. When the ability to love has developed in a person, this type of love inevitably results. It is based on "the experience that we are all one". External differences are secondary "in comparison to the identity of the human core, which we all have in common". One can penetrate from the surface to the core and then perceive and experience this identity as a “relationship from one core to the other”, “relationship from the center”.

Critic of general philanthropy

Max Scheler (1874–1928) strongly and in depth criticized “the idea and the movement of modern general human love”, “humanitarianism” or “love for everything that bears human face”. Nietzsche rightly attributed this idea to resentment, but he was wrong when he equated it with the Christian idea of ​​love. Modern human love is "a polemical and protestant term in all directions". It is not based on an original, spontaneous movement towards a positive value, but on a protest, "a counter-impulse (hatred, envy, vindictiveness, etc.) against ruling minorities" and their values. In reality it is not directed at humanity. This could not be a direct love object, because only something graphic can move love. Rather, “humanity” is only played off against something hated (God, tradition, elite). As a collective, it takes the place of the individual. Then every kind of love for a part of humanity - people, family or individual - appears like a wrongful deprivation of what one owes only to the whole as a whole. However, it is a serious mistake to consider love for the larger circle to be in itself better than love for the smaller. Modern human love is not primarily “act and movement of a spiritual nature”, but a feeling that primarily arises from the sensual perception of the external expression of pain and joy through the transmission form of psychological contagion. This is evident in their pathos, their “cry for a more sensually blissful humanity”.

Ludwig Klages (1872–1956) also considered the idea of ​​general human love to be fundamentally wrong . The “real love that chooses and deifies” is opposed to the “Christian love phrase”; it led to the “equalizing requirement of general respectability” being raised. This demand refers nominally to the “neighbor”, by which in fact every scoundrel is meant. Klages turned against "conceptual ghosts" that one "has to love by the hand of school-based thinking". Human love is a bloodless term, "a nail on the cross to which the blooming body of Eros was struck".

Another opponent of the ideal of philanthropy was Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). According to his theory, love is uniform in its origin and nature. All of its forms from self-love to general human love have a common root, the libido . On this basis Freud raised his objections to the ideal in 1930 in the treatise The Uneasiness in Culture . In his view, human love arises from the need of some people to avoid the "fluctuations and disappointments of genital love". They achieve this by distracting the drive from its sexual goal, thereby transforming it into a "goal-inhibited impulse". This is "one of the techniques for fulfilling the pleasure principle". The human love that emerges from the transformation of the sex drive has the advantage for the lover that it makes him independent of the approval of his love object. From Freud's point of view, however, it is by no means the highest attitude to which a person can rise. Freud justified his rejection of such a diversion of drives with the fact that love, if it does not choose, loses part of its own value, and that not all people are lovable. Anyone who equates strangers with his relatives and friends is committing an injustice to his people, who value his love as a preference. As a strong imposition, Freud rejected the demand to include enemies in general love. He also considered it impossible to completely forego the gratification of the tendency to aggression, which would be necessary in the realization of a universal love. One could indeed bind a larger number of people to one another in love, but then others would have to remain as outsiders to express the aggression. After the apostle Paul made general human love the foundation of his community, "the extreme intolerance of Christianity towards those who remained outside became an inevitable consequence."

Nikolai Berdjajew (1874–1948) believed that love cannot be equal and can be directed towards all people without distinction. Such a gift is rather a matter of mercy. It is impossible, in real love, to disregard individuality and concreteness. A “humanistic” love that is only directed towards the “distant”, towards abstract humanity and its future order of life, is “deceit and a lie”. It could lead to the denial of love for the living beings one meets. An abstract love for the idea of ​​man or humanity becomes a destructive force.

Even Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) stressed that the mistress is always individual, that is the absolutely concrete. In contrast, compassion is not directed towards the individual as such, but generally. It has no relation to the absolute anywhere. Jaspers said it was "the extreme opposite of love, in compassion, general human love, blind helping, wherever there is suffering, pouring out". Those who act in this way are not concerned with others, but always with themselves.

Arnold Gehlen (1904–1976) took a critical look at “ humanitarianism ”, which he defined as “indiscriminate human love made an ethical duty”. He said it was about the "expansion and dedifferentiation of the original clan ethos or of behavioral regulations within the extended family". Gehlen's idea of ​​the origin of this phenomenon is that the "sympathetic impulses" exceed the original, already existing "imprint" in the child and are directed towards ever wider groups of people. In doing so, they move away from clarity "until the merely schematic notion of 'human' is sufficient". With this expansion, the “obligation content” becomes increasingly pale. Finally he steps back "into a mere inhibition: one must not hurt any other person, one must see in him the 'brother' etc." This inhibits the striving to assert one's own group interests against other groups; Fundamentally anti-state, pacifist attitudes, which originally stem from solidarity within the family organization, are taking hold in society. Gehlen believed that the increasing influence of humanitarianism in the modern age ultimately led to the "predominance of the most numerically strong people by virtue of their biological might".

Sociological interpretation of philanthropy

In the theory of the gift economy developed by Marcel Mauss , philanthropy appears as part of the "gift system" that regulates the non-commercial exchange of goods. Mauss emphasizes that giving gifts in any form is not a one-sided act. Rather, it is an exchange in both archaic and modern societies, because there is a de facto generally recognized duty to reciprocate every gift. The difference to sales is the indirect, apparently voluntary provision of the consideration. Anyone who cannot reciprocate a gift received is humiliated and injured by it; socially he must submit to the benefactor. Wealth is used to integrate recipients of benefits into a hierarchical order and to exercise power over them. Mauss saw this as a dark side of the gift economy. Basically, however, he rated the gift system positively. He believed that the rich should come, voluntarily or by compulsion, "to regard themselves as the treasurers of their fellow citizens"; the joy of public giving is a valuable motive for action.

In later research, the approach presented by Mauss for the first time in 1923/24, which placed reciprocity in the foreground, was taken up many times. Elisabeth Kraus points out the “interaction of need structures” in philanthropic foundations; there is “a fragile balance of selfish and altruistic motives”. Kraus recalls that, according to Karl Marx, "in the long run, any idea that is not based on an interest will be embarrassed". Manuel Frey, following the considerations of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu , emphasizes that giving is always based on the exchange of performance for performance. This has shown the cultural anthropological research. In philanthropy, economic capital is exchanged for social or cultural capital. With this, the exchange loses its purely monetary significance and becomes the link between economy and culture. Philanthropic giving is a strategy in the struggle for social and cultural recognition.

The philanthropic practice

Delimitation and use of the terms

In the United States, the common name for large donors who sponsor and organize nonprofit activities is philanthropists . In American usage, a distinction is made between philanthropy (not-for-profit private initiatives) and charity (charity, charity). However, the two terms are often used like synonyms. Charity - the narrower term - is direct help for the poor, often only for the purpose of alleviating or remedying acute, severe needs. Philanthropy encompasses a much wider range of activities. This includes not only charity, but also a lot of desirable things that improve the quality of life but are not urgently needed to satisfy basic needs. All private services for charitable purposes are considered philanthropic. These include, for example, donations for universities, museums, hospitals, churches, environmental projects, social work, parks and research institutes. American philanthropy also includes the promotion of cultural institutions and projects that are known in Europe as " patronage ". It is widely believed that philanthropy is not emergency aid. According to this understanding, securing the livelihood of the poor is the task of the state; philanthropy aims to promote institutions that enrich life. A prominent representative of this direction was Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), one of the best-known philanthropists, whose principles were trend-setting in broad circles of donors. Since the 19th century, philanthropists who deal with help for the less well-off have also attached great importance to separating their efforts from poor relief and emergency aid. They claim that charity only benefits individuals in need and does not address the roots of problems. Your own activity, however, is effective in helping people to help themselves. An influential proponent of this way of thinking was John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), who was a major spokesman for the philanthropic movement in his day.

In American terminology, the philanthropic institutions are counted as the “ non-profit sector ” of the economy. This sector consists of the non-profit organizations that are recognized by the state as eligible and are therefore exempt from taxation. It can be divided into two groups, charitable organizations and non-charitable organizations. A clear distinction between philanthropic and non-philanthropic organizations is not always possible.

Venture philanthropy ”, which has been widespread in the USA since the 1990s and is also establishing itself in Europe in the 21st century, forms a special area. The English term "venture philanthropy" was based on "venture capital" ( venture capital formed). It describes an approach that transfers principles of the use of risk capital from the profit-oriented economy to the non-profit sector. Just as relatively risky investments require special competence and caution on the part of the investor, the professionalism of the "investors" is an essential success factor according to this approach in philanthropy as well. An intensive commitment of the financiers in the implementation of the projects and suitable management strategies should improve efficiency and increase the sustainability of projects and programs. Detailed planning, success monitoring based on target specifications and performance measurement as well as an exit strategy should help to avoid the risks and weaknesses of traditional philanthropy. Alternative names for concepts of this type are “committed philanthropy” or “strategic philanthropy”. Another direction is "social change philanthropy", which places particular emphasis on making charity superfluous by changing social conditions. This direction is activist and strongly committed to social policy.

The term philanthropy has not caught on in the German-speaking world. It is often more narrowly defined than in English and is traditionally associated primarily with the promotion of culture and less with efforts to solve social problems or with a certain state of mind. But there are also broad definitions. There is no consensus in the research literature on the delimitation; different definitions stand side by side. According to a definition proposed by Gabriele Lingelbach , philanthropy is the process “that private individuals make their own funds available for public purposes with a design intention”.

The development in Europe

In the European countries, the division of tasks between state, church and private welfare work developed very differently. As a result, the social weight of philanthropy differs greatly from country to country. There is traditionally a north-south divide with regard to the foundation system. In northern and central European countries, thanks to favorable framework conditions, philanthropy has developed far better than in the south. A strong accumulation of capital, a favorable climate in public opinion, a strong tradition of civic engagement, political stability and benefits from tax and foundation law were and are beneficial.

In Germany, in the course of the 19th century, poor welfare, in which voluntary private charity previously dominated, was increasingly taken over by the increasingly developed municipal welfare administrations. This shifted the focus in the area of ​​private engagement towards educational and preventive measures aimed at combating the causes of social hardship. Philanthropic engagement was also seen as a means of relieving tension between classes. Civic philanthropy primarily benefited social institutions such as hospitals, residential foundations, and orphanages, but from the late 19th century onwards, the share of cultural, educational, and scientific funding grew. The rapid increase in bourgeois wealth led to a "wave of foundations" in the German Empire. In addition to the flourishing foundation system, a philanthropic club culture developed. Numerous associations devoted themselves partly preventively, partly charitable to the fight against social ills.

The end of the German Empire in 1918 and the hyperinflation of the 1920s formed serious cuts that severely impaired the bourgeois foundation culture.

From a sociological point of view, reference is made to the great importance of social engagement for the self-image of the middle class in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a central part of the bourgeois world. Philanthropic activity was a means of creating and strengthening networks within the bourgeois elite, it promoted the interaction between the business and the educated bourgeoisie. Newcomers to the economy saw philanthropy as an opportunity to join the traditional urban elites. Successful entrepreneurs acted as social benefactors. Members of the upper class who, thanks to inherited wealth, were not dependent on gainful employment, considered it necessary to legitimize their privileged status through social reform efforts. Philanthropy gave them the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their usefulness in a bourgeois society that measured a person's worth by their productive contribution. An essential aspect of philanthropy was its role as an instrument for the exercise of power by the bourgeoisie: it served to consolidate and spread bourgeois norms and values. For example, proletarian residents of residential foundations were required to lead a life according to bourgeois standards. The bourgeoisie distinguished itself from the lower classes through social engagement, because from a philanthropic point of view, the needy only came into focus as different people, as recipients of charities in need of help and education.

Philanthropic generosity was also cultivated in the Jewish bourgeoisie and contributed to their emancipation and advancement. In the late 19th century, representatives of a newly emerging Jewish elite increasingly appeared as donors. This gave them social recognition. Intensive philanthropic activity resulted in middle-class women emerging in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This activity offered them one of the few opportunities to gain reputation and exercise social shaping power.

Despite the appearance of pure altruism, the pursuit of prestige and fame was and is an essential motive for action of the philanthropists. Proof of this is the fact that their achievements have been publicly and demonstratively recognized by foundations and associations. Not only foundations were usually named after the founders, buildings, halls and entire institutions also bore their names.

The Marxism was from the beginning in sharp contrast to philanthropy, as you as an obstacle to cross-class nature of class struggle was perceived. Karl Marx always referred to philanthropic thinking in a contemptuous tone. In his work The misery of philosophy (1847) he attacked the "philanthropic school". He accused her of denying the necessity of class antagonism and wanting to "make bourgeois out of all people". The philanthropic theory abstracts from the contradictions "which one encounters at every step in reality". In addition, the position of the philanthropists is contradictory: "They imagine that they are seriously fighting bourgeois practice, and they are more bourgeois than the others."

The development in the USA

Andrew Carnegie

In the United States, private funding of public concerns traditionally plays a far greater role than in Europe. In social welfare as well as in the promotion of culture and education, functions which in Europe are mainly considered to be state tasks are left to a relatively large extent to private initiatives. State funding for culture in particular is comparatively low, with private donors dominating. This difference in mentality is particularly emphasized in the accounts of American historians, who see the strong emphasis on private social engagement as a special feature of their nation. In the more recent research on philanthropy of early modernity, however, the similarities come more into focus; the philanthropic motives and value systems of the 19th century appear as elements of a supranational, transatlantic bourgeois culture, which was characterized by intensive exchange relationships, especially between the American and German bourgeoisie. European models can be identified for the early US initiatives aimed at the common good.

From a sociological point of view, American philanthropy is an essential part of the self-image and identity-consciousness of an elitist class; it is "a way of being part of society". It is also one of the activities that promote cohesion among the elite. Mostly, not individuals, but organizations and institutions are supported. According to numerous statements by donors, philanthropic activity is not an expression of personal inclination, but a duty towards society, which one should not avoid. You have to "give back" something to the society to which you owe your wealth; only the choice of recipients and determination of the details is at one's own discretion. Anyone who donates little or no donation despite considerable wealth is condemned as antisocial in philanthropic circles. Andrew Carnegie is often quoted as saying: "The man who dies rich dies in shame." Carnegie, in his essay The Gospel of Wealth, expressed the opinion that all personal wealth beyond the family's livelihood is held in trust Good to look at and use for the common good.

Since philanthropy on a grand scale is only possible for a privileged small class, it confers prestige and is a symbol of high social status. It is valued as a sign of personal success and prosperity. Among the purposes for which philanthropists donate large sums, education, especially the promotion of universities and colleges, occupies a prominent position. Such large donations are often an expression of the philanthropist's permanent bond with the university at which he studied.

Many American philanthropists emphasize the crucial role of private initiatives in the service of the common good and distrust the state, which can often only inadequately fulfill such tasks. The relationship between philanthropy and the state is not primarily shaped by opposition and competition. Rather, there is a close relationship between them, which research describes as symbiotic. It is particularly evident in the granting of extensive tax advantages to people who support philanthropic institutions. A close cooperation between the state and the foundations can be observed, especially since the middle of the 20th century. After the end of the Second World War, the sector of private non-profit institutions grew parallel to the expansion of the welfare state . The number of tax-exempt nonprofits rose from 20,000 in 1940 to 300,000 in the 1960s and about 1.5 million in the first decade of the 21st century.

In recent times there has been increasing social pressure on owners of very large assets. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have the campaign The Giving Pledge initiated that asks the wealthiest individuals and families since 2010 around the world, to commit themselves to have at least half of their wealth to philanthropy come. This can be done during the donor's lifetime or in a will.

Recent public debates

At present, the global public discourse on philanthropic practice revolves primarily around concepts of US origin. In the modern age, the United States is the country where the term philanthropy has found the most widespread use and the ideas associated with it meet with the strongest response. American philanthropists and their foundations, some of which are active in many countries, are most in the spotlight internationally. Their ideas and activities are shaped by the historical and cultural characteristics of their country and at the same time have a lasting impact on the image of philanthropy in the international public. Public debates about the role of private capital in funding and executing large-scale community projects are sparked by questions and problems related to the dominance and media exposure of American initiatives in this area.

Andrew Carnegie's philanthropy. Caricature by Louis Dalrymple in Puck Magazine , 1903

The global philanthropic practice of the 20th and 21st centuries, which was shaped by US-American concepts, has long been the subject of a large number of public debates and is also vehemently criticized. The activities of the elite philanthropists traditionally arouse mixed reactions among the general public in the United States. The wealthy are expected to be generous; reluctance to donate is deprecated. The concrete practice of philanthropy, however, meets with objections of various kinds. Most of the concerns and objections that are considered in public discourse can be divided into three groups: First, donors are assumed to have selfish motives, in particular an excessive striving for power that undermines democracy and create centers of power that are not democratically legitimized; second, they are accused of having acquired their wealth with at least questionable or even improper means; thirdly, the efficiency of the use of financial resources is contested. Such criticism is mostly dismissed by philanthropists and their defenders as essentially unfounded. It is argued that the enormous scope of philanthropic foundations and the multitude of goals make it impossible for individual foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , the world's largest private foundation, to attain a dominant position. However, a number of the philanthropists interviewed have given the accusation of snobbery a certain justification. Some philanthropists acknowledge their intention to create a counterbalance to the overwhelming influence of the state in the social field.

From the point of view of critics, it is argued that the strong dynamism of the US foundation system since the 1980s is closely linked to great wealth accumulation and increasing social inequalities during this period. In addition, a large number of decidedly conservative foundations participate in social conflicts. In these cases, there can be no question of a neutral role that promotes the common good. Criticism of venture philanthropy aims at the problem of the introduction of business criteria in the area of ​​non-profit activities and at the impact measurements. It is asserted that the cause-and-effect relationships are often beyond measurable and that proof of effectiveness as a funding criterion could result in only projects being carried out whose positive effects can easily be proven. The criticism of the social power that individual philanthropic organizations grow through their enormous resources, and of the approach based on business principles is articulated, among other things, by the term “philanthropic capitalism”. The rapid growth of the non-profit sector and its influence since the 1980s has been criticized as "privatizing the public".

A significant portion of the American public views the tax exemption of foundations as a convenient means of tax avoidance for the wealthy. The extent of the tax deductibility of contributions for charitable institutions has therefore been highly controversial since the 1960s. Critics argue that it is in principle a question of financing private activities that the philanthropists have chosen at random from tax revenues. Efforts to increase the scope of philanthropic services through tax incentives are countered by the fear that the foundations could gain control of the economy and that the functioning of the state would be endangered by massive tax shortfalls. There is also controversy about how much government regulation is needed to prevent abuse of tax exemptions. One of the main sources of disagreement is the fundamental difference in ideas about how the common good is to be defined and what division of labor between the non-profit sector and the state is appropriate.

In Germany, the preferential tax treatment of private foundations compared to other nonprofit organizations gives rise to criticism. In this regard, the sociologist Frank Adloff asserts that the foundation system is publicly subsidized through tax breaks. In fact, this amounts to the fact that private foundations have taxpayers' money without any accountability associated with it. Through tax law, the state promotes a power asymmetry based on money and other resources between donors and recipients of philanthropic services. According to the counter-position, there are good economic arguments in favor of claiming that philanthropy is a full or even superior alternative to direct government spending in the areas of social, cultural, educational and scientific issues. From this it is concluded that the state preferential treatment should not only be maintained, but even extended according to the American model. Proponents also argue that philanthropy is a useful complement to state activity, that it strengthens civil society and that it brings about a desirable voluntary redistribution of wealth. The foundations are innovative and pluralistic. On the other hand, critics argue that the benefits are more asserted than sociologically proven.


Philosophy in general

Sociology in general

  • Paul Ridder : Benevolent Rule: Philanthropy and Legitimation in the History of the Welfare State . Publishing house for health sciences, Greven 2002, ISBN 3-9807065-2-4 (sociological and ideological presentation with a focus on health care)


  • Otto Hiltbrunner : Humanitas (φιλανθρωπία). In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity . Volume 16, Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-7772-9403-9 , Sp. 711-752.
  • Herbert Hunger : ΦΙΛΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΑ. A Greek word coinage on its way from Aeschylus to Theodoros Metochites. In: Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. Collected essays . Variorum, London 1973, ISBN 0-902089-55-2 , No. XIII
  • Roger Le Déaut: Φιλανθρωπία dans la littérature grecque jusqu'au Nouveau Testament (Tite III, 4). In: Mélanges Eugène Tisserant. Volume 1, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 1964, pp. 255-294.
  • Marty Sulek: On the Classical Meaning of Philanthrôpía. In: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 39, 2010, pp. 385-408.


  • Katell Berthelot: Philanthrôpia judaica. The debat near the "misanthropy" des lois juives dans l'Antiquité . Brill, Leiden / Boston 2003, ISBN 90-04-12886-7 .
  • André Pelletier: La philanthropia de tous les jours chez les écrivains juifs hellénisés. In: André Benoit et al. (Ed.): Paganisme, Judaïsme, Christianisme. Influences and affrontements in le monde antique. Mélanges offerts à Marcel Simon. De Boccard, Paris 1978, pp. 35-44.


  • Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare . 2nd, revised edition. Caratzas, New Rochelle 1991, ISBN 0-89241-402-2 .
  • Demetrios J. Constantelos: Poverty, Society and Philanthropy in the Late Mediaeval Greek World . Caratzas, New Rochelle 1992, ISBN 0-89241-401-4 .

Classical Chinese philosophy

Early modern age

  • Dagobert de Levie: Philanthropy in the Age of Enlightenment. Secularization and Morality in the 18th Century . Herbert Lang, Bern 1975, ISBN 3-261-01635-3 .

Modern in general

  • Frank Adloff : Philanthropic action. A historical sociology of donation in Germany and the USA . Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-593-39265-3 .
  • Patricia Illingworth et al. (Ed.): Giving Well. The Ethics of Philanthropy . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011, ISBN 978-0-19-995858-0 .
  • Robert Jacobi: The Goodwill Society. The invisible world of founders, donors and patrons. Murmann, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86774-060-9 .
  • Marty Sulek: On the Modern Meaning of Philanthropy. In: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 39, 2010, pp. 193–212 (modern conceptual history from the 17th century)

United States

  • Peter Frumkin: Strategic Giving. The Art and Science of Philanthropy. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2006, ISBN 0-226-26626-5 .
  • Peter Dobkin Hall: Philanthropy, the Welfare State, and the Transformation of Public Institutions in the United States, 1945–2000. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-515-09384-2 , pp. 69-99.
  • Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1995, ISBN 0-691-04434-1 .
  • Olivier Zunz: Philanthropy in America. A history . Princeton University Press, Princeton 2012, ISBN 978-0-691-12836-8 .


  • Elisabeth Kraus: Modern by tradition: On the history of foundations and patronage in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Historisches Jahrbuch 121, 2001, pp. 400-420.

Web links

Wiktionary: Philanthropy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Philanthropist  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Leviticus 19:34. For translation problems, see Hans-Peter Mathys: Love your neighbor as yourself , Freiburg (Switzerland) / Göttingen 1986, pp. 6–9.
  2. Deuteronomy 10.18 f.
  3. Christoph Bultmann: The stranger in ancient Juda. Göttingen 1992, pp. 123 f., 129, 175 f.
  4. For the interpretation see Christoph Bultmann: The stranger in ancient Juda. Göttingen 1992, pp. 121-130; Markus Zehnder: Dealing with strangers in Israel and Assyria. Stuttgart 2005, pp. 343 f., 365-367.
  5. Pseudo-Aristeas 257.
  6. Pseudo-Aristeas 208.
  7. ^ Pseudo-Aristeas 265.
  8. Philon, De virtutibus 51–174.
  9. See on Philon's idea of ​​philanthropy Ceslas Spicq : La Philanthropie hellénistique, vertu divine et royale. In: Studia Theologica 12, 1958, pp. 169-191, here: 174-181; Katell Berthelot: Philanthrôpia judaica. Leiden 2003, pp. 233-321.
  10. Louis Isaac Rabinowitz, Isaac Levitats: Gemilut ḥasadim. In: Encyclopaedia Judaica . 2nd Edition. Volume 7, Detroit et al. 2007, p. 427 f.
  11. ^ Rudolf Rehn et al: Philanthropy. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Volume 7, Basel 1989, Sp. 543-552, here: 543, 545-547; John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, pp. 105-108; Hendrik Bolkestein : Charity and poor relief in pre-Christian antiquity , New York 1979 (reprint of the Utrecht 1939 edition), pp. 150–170.
  12. Hendrik Bolkestein: Charity and poor relief in pre-Christian antiquity. New York 1979 (reprint of the Utrecht 1939 edition), pp. 110–112.
  13. ^ Katell Berthelot: Philanthrôpia judaica. Leiden 2003, pp. 20-27.
  14. ^ Katell Berthelot: Philanthrôpia judaica. Leiden 2003, pp. 33-47.
  15. Homer, Iliad 9,255 f.
  16. Homer, Iliad 17, 669-672; 19,300.
  17. Aristophanes, Der Friede 392 f.
  18. The bound Prometheus 11 and 28. See Roger Le Déaut: Φιλανθρωπία dans la littérature grecque jusqu'au Nouveau Testament (Tite III, 4). In: Mélanges Eugène Tisserant. Volume 1, Città del Vaticano 1964, pp. 255–294, here: 255 f .; Marty Sulek: On the Classical Meaning of Philanthrôpía. In: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 39, 2010, pp. 385-408, here: 387 f.
  19. ^ Plato, Symposium 189c8 – d1, Nomoi 713d5–6.
  20. Plato, Euthyphro 3d6-9.
  21. On Xenophon's idea of ​​philanthropy see Bruno Snell : The discovery of the spirit. 8th edition. Göttingen 2000, p. 234 f .; Rudolf Rehn ao: Philanthropy. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Volume 7, Basel 1989, Sp. 543-552, here: 544.
  22. Isocrates, Speech 15,132. See Ceslas Spicq: La Philanthropie hellénistique, vertu divine et royale. In: Studia Theologica 12, 1958, pp. 169–191, here: 171; Rudolf Rehn ao: Philanthropy. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Volume 7, Basel 1989, Sp. 543-552, here: 544.
  23. See on Demosthenes' understanding of philanthropy Matthew R. Christ: Demosthenes on Philanthrōpia as a Democratic Virtue. In: Classical Philology 108, 2013, pp. 202-222; Kenneth James Dover: Greek popular morality in the time of Plato and Aristotle. Indianapolis / Cambridge 1974, p. 201 f.
  24. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1155a.
  25. Aristoteles, Poetik 1452b37-1453a4; see. 1456a19-21.
  26. ^ Robert D. Lamberton : Philanthropia and the Evolution of Dramatic Taste. In: Phoenix 37, 1983, pp. 95-103, here: 95-100.
  27. John Moles: Philanthropia in the Poetics. In: Phoenix 38, 1984, pp. 325-335; Manfred Fuhrmann : The poetry theory of antiquity , Düsseldorf 2003, p. 41 f. Compare Arbogast Schmitt (translator): Aristoteles: Poetik , Darmstadt 2008, pp. 449 f., 564 f .; Gyburg Radke : Tragik und Metatragik , Berlin 2003, p. 204 f. Note 353; Chris Carey: 'Philanthropy' in Aristotle's Poetics. In: Eranos 86, 1988, pp. 131-139.
  28. Diogenes Laertios 5:17; 5.21.
  29. On this development of the word meaning see Bruno Snell: The discovery of the spirit. 8th edition. Göttingen 2000, p. 235.
  30. ^ John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, pp. 107-109.
  31. On philanthropy in Menander, see Robert D. Lamberton: Philanthropia and the Evolution of Dramatic Taste. In: Phoenix 37, 1983, pp. 95-103, here: 100-102.
  32. Cicero, Ad Quintum fratrem 1,1,27.
  33. Otto Hiltbrunner: Humanitas (φιλανθρωπία). In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity. Volume 16, Stuttgart 1994, Col. 711-752, here: 724-730.
  34. Christopher Gill: Altruism or Reciprocity in Greek Ethical Philosophy? In: Christopher Gill et al. (Ed.): Reciprocity in Ancient Greece. Oxford 1998, pp. 303-328, here: 325-328.
  35. Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum 5,23,65.
  36. ^ Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. London 1973, No. XIII, pp. 5 f .; Ceslas Spicq: La Philanthropie hellénistique, vertu divine et royale. In: Studia Theologica 12, 1958, pp. 169–191, here: 184–187; Heinz Kortenaschen : Philanthropon. In: Pauly-Wissowa RE Supplement volume 7, Stuttgart 1940, Sp. 1032-1034.
  37. ^ Günther Hölbl : History of the Ptolemaic Empire , Darmstadt 1994, pp. 48, 106, 160, 172.
  38. ^ Praeceptiones 6.
  39. Seneca, Epistulae morales 88, 30-32.
  40. Seneca, De beneficiis 3: 17-29.
  41. Seneca, De beneficiis 7.31 f.
  42. Seneca, De beneficiis 2:10.
  43. Seneca, Epistulae morales 95, 33.
  44. For Plutarch's understanding of philanthropy see Francesco Becchi: La notion de philanthrōpia chez Plutarque: contexte social et sources philosophiques. In: José Ribeiro Ferreira et al. (Ed.): Symposion and Philanthropia in Plutarch. Coimbra 2009, pp. 263-273; Anastasios G. Nikolaidis: Philanthropia as Sociability and Plutarch's Unsociable Heroes. In: José Ribeiro Ferreira et al. (Ed.): Symposion and Philanthropia in Plutarch. Coimbra 2009, pp. 275-288; Hubert Martin: The Concept of Philanthropia in Plutarch's Lives. In: American Journal of Philology 82, 1961, pp. 164-175; Solko Tromp De Ruiter: De vocis quae est ΦΙΛΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΑ significatione atque usu. In: Mnemosyne New Series 59, 1931, pp. 271-306, here: 295-300.
  45. ^ Eran Almagor: A "Barbarian" Symposium and the Absence of Philanthropia (Artaxerxes 15). In: José Ribeiro Ferreira et al. (Ed.): Symposion and Philanthropia in Plutarch. Coimbra 2009, pp. 131-146.
  46. Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 13.17.
  47. Diogenes Laertios 3.98.
  48. ^ Suetonius, Titus 8.2 .
  49. Jürgen Kabiersch: Investigations on the concept of philanthropia with the emperor Julian. Wiesbaden 1960, pp. 90-94.
  50. ^ Harold I. Bell: Philanthropia in the Papyri of the Roman Period. In: Hommages à Joseph Bidez et à Franz Cumont. Bruxelles 1949, pp. 31-37; John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, p. 105.
  51. ^ Themistios, On Philanthropy or Constantius 4a – 6b.
  52. ^ Themistios, On Philanthropy or Constantius 12c.
  53. ^ Themistios, About Philanthropy or Constantius 6c – d.
  54. ^ See on Themistius 'understanding of philanthropy Lawrence J. Daly: Themistius' Concept of Philanthropia. In: Byzantion 45, 1975, pp. 22-40; Lawrence J. Daly: The Mandarin and the Barbarian: The Response of Themistius to the Gothic Challenge. In: Historia 21, 1972, pp. 351-379, here: 354-378; Michael Schramm: Friendship in Neo-Platonism , Berlin 2013, pp. 211–228. See Claudia Rapp : Charity and Piety as Episcopal and Imperial Virtues in Late Antiquity. In: Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Ed.): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Berlin 2009, pp. 75–87, here: 80–82.
  55. ^ Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199–208, here: 202.
  56. Michael Schramm: Friendship in Neo-Platonism. Berlin 2013, p. 291 f.
  57. ^ Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208, here: 207 f.
  58. ^ Richard M. Honig: Humanitas and rhetoric in late Roman imperial laws. Göttingen 1960, pp. 63 f., 70-81.
  59. Evidence from Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, p. 34 f. See Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. London 1973, No. XIII, p. 14.
  60. Porphyrios, Pros Markellan 35.
  61. ^ Theresa Nesselrath: Kaiser Julian und die Repaganisierung des Reiches , Münster 2013, pp. 168–171.
  62. On philanthropy with Julian see the detailed monograph by Jürgen Kabiersch: Investigations on the concept of philanthropy with the emperor Julian. Wiesbaden 1960, p. 15 ff. Cf. Theresa Nesselrath: Kaiser Julian and the repaganization of the empire. Münster 2013, pp. 168-184; Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208, here: 203 f.
  63. ^ Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208, here: 204; Lawrence J. Daly: Themistius' Concept of Philanthropia. In: Byzantion 45, 1975, pp. 22-40, here: 27 f.
  64. Acts 27: 3.
  65. Acts 28 : 2.
  66. Titus 3: 4.
  67. ^ Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199–208, here: 200.
  68. See also John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, pp. 114-117.
  69. ^ Claudia Rapp: Charity and Piety as Episcopal and Imperial Virtues in Late Antiquity. In: Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Ed.): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Berlin 2009, pp. 75–87, here: 75; Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, pp. 26-29.
  70. References in Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208, here: 204 f. and John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, p. 112.
  71. See Claudia Rapp: Charity and Piety as Episcopal and Imperial Virtues in Late Antiquity. In: Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Ed.): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Berlin 2009, pp. 75–87, here: 84–86.
  72. On the liturgical use of the term philanthropy see Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208, here: 205-207.
  73. ^ Jens-Uwe Krause : The late antique city patronage. In: Chiron 17, 1987, pp. 1-80, here: 18 f.
  74. ^ Paul Veyne: Bread and Games , Frankfurt 1988 (translation of the French original edition from 1976), p. 41; see. Pp. 48 f., 51-53.
  75. ^ Peter Brown: Poverty and Leadership in the Later Roman Empire. Hanover (NH) / London 2002, pp. 1-11.
  76. Manfred Fuhrmann: The poetry theory of antiquity. Düsseldorf 2003, p. 41 f.
  77. ^ John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, p. 114.
  78. ^ Glanville Downey: Philanthropia in Religion and Statecraft in the Fourth Century after Christ. In: Historia 4, 1955, pp. 199-208; Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. London 1973, No. XIII, pp. 1, 20; John Ferguson: Moral Values ​​in the Ancient World. London 1958, pp. 106, 111-115.
  79. ^ Matthew R. Christ: The Limits of Altruism in Democratic Athens. Cambridge 2012, pp. 1-47.
  80. ^ Matthew R. Christ: The Limits of Altruism in Democratic Athens , Cambridge 2012, pp. 1-4.
  81. Rachel Hall Sternberg: Tragedy Offstage. Suffering and Sympathy in Ancient Athens. Austin 2006, pp. 177-181; Gabriel Herman: Morality and behavior in democratic Athens: A social history. Cambridge 2006, pp. 347-359, 375, 389.
  82. ^ Bernhard Kötting : Euergetes. In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity. Volume 6, Stuttgart 1966, Col. 848-860, here: 848.
  83. ^ Philippe Gauthier: Les cités grecques et leurs bienfaiteurs. Paris 1985, pp. 7-39; Bernhard Kötting: Euergetes. In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity. Volume 6, Stuttgart 1966, Sp. 848-860, here: 850-856; Elizabeth Forbis: Municipal Virtues in the Roman Empire. Stuttgart / Leipzig 1996, pp. 45-49.
  84. Gabriele Weiler: Foundations provides a brief overview . In: Der Neue Pauly , Volume 11, Stuttgart 2001, Sp. 993-995. David Johnston is more detailed in: Munificence and Municipia: Bequests to Towns in Classical Roman Law. In: The Journal of Roman Studies 75, 1985, pp. 105-125. Gabriele Wesch-Klein provides an overview of the foundations in Africa : Liberalitas in rem publicam. Private expenses in favor of communities in Roman Africa until 284 AD Bonn 1990, pp. 13–41.
  85. See Gunnar Seelentag : Deeds and Virtues of Traian. Stuttgart 2004, pp. 187-191.
  86. See Dennis P. Kehoe: Investment, Profit, and Tenancy. Ann Arbor 1997, p. 86 f.
  87. ^ David Johnston: Munificence and Municipia: Bequests to Towns in Classical Roman Law. In: The Journal of Roman Studies 75, 1985, pp. 105–125, here: 105.
  88. ^ Gabriele Wesch-Klein: Liberalitas in rem publicam. Private expenditures in favor of communities in Roman Africa until 284 AD Bonn 1990, p. 49.
  89. On the municipal inscriptions of honor for generous benefactors see Elizabeth Forbis: Municipal Virtues in the Roman Empire. Stuttgart / Leipzig 1996, pp. 29-43.
  90. Werner Eck : Euergetism in the functional context of imperial cities. In: Michel Christol , Olivier Masson (ed.): Actes du X e Congrès international d'épigraphie grecque et latine, Nîmes, 4-9 octobre 1992. Paris 1997, pp. 305-331, here: 326.
  91. For details see Leonhard Schumacher : The Decree of Honor for M. Nonius Balbus from Herculaneum (AE 1947, 53). In: Chiron 6, 1976, pp. 165-184.
  92. Werner Eck: Euergetism in the functional context of imperial cities. In: Michel Christol, Olivier Masson (ed.): Actes du X e Congrès international d'épigraphie grecque et latine, Nîmes, 4–9 octobre 1992. Paris 1997, pp. 305–331, here: 315–320, 326– 330
  93. Elizabeth Forbis: Municipal Virtues in the Roman Empire. Stuttgart / Leipzig 1996, pp. 45-59.
  94. See Werner Eck: Euergetism in the functional context of the imperial cities. In: Michel Christol, Olivier Masson (ed.): Actes du X e Congrès international d'épigraphie grecque et latine, Nîmes, 4–9 octobre 1992. Paris 1997, pp. 305–331, here: 305–315, 317– 324; Friedemann Quaß : The class of dignitaries in the cities of the Greek East. Stuttgart 1993, pp. 196-269.
  95. ^ Jens-Uwe Krause: The late antique city patronage. In: Chiron 17, 1987, pp. 1-80, here: 14-24.
  96. Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, Epistulae 1,3,4.
  97. ^ Theophylactus Simokates, Historiae 1,1.
  98. ^ Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. London 1973, No. XIII, p. 9.
  99. ^ Herbert Hunger: Byzantine basic research. London 1973, No. XIII, pp. 11-20.
  100. ^ Demetrios J. Constantelos: Philanthropia as an Imperial Virtue in the Byzantine Empire of the Tenth Century. In: Anglican Theological Review 44, 1962, pp. 351–365, here: 355 f .; Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, p. 36 f.
  101. Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, pp. 35-42.
  102. Theophylaktos Simokates, Historiae 1,5.
  103. Theophylaktos Simokates, Historiae 6.2.
  104. Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, pp. XI f., 35-37, 206.
  105. Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, pp. 25-32.
  106. ^ Demetrios J. Constantelos: Philanthropia as an Imperial Virtue in the Byzantine Empire of the Tenth Century. In: Anglican Theological Review 44, 1962, pp. 351-365, here: 358-363; Demetrios J. Constantelos: Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. 2nd, revised edition. New Rochelle 1991, pp. 89-103 (very positive account of the imperial philanthropic activities) and 113-199 (on individual philanthropic initiatives and institutions); Demetrios J. Constantelos: Poverty, Society and Philanthropy in the Late Mediaeval Greek World. New Rochelle 1992, pp. 117-132.
  107. See Yehoshua Frenkel: Piety and Charity in Late Medieval Egypt and Syria. In: Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Ed.): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Berlin 2009, pp. 175-202; Yaacov Lev: Charity and Gift Giving in Medieval Islam. In: Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Ed.): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Berlin 2009, pp. 235-264.
  108. Ruud Peters et al.: Waḳf. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition . Volume 11, Leiden 2002, pp. 59-99, here: 59.
  109. Ruud Peters et al.: Waḳf. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition. Volume 11, Leiden 2002, pp. 59-99, here: 59-63.
  110. Wolfgang Bauer : History of Chinese Philosophy , Munich 2001, pp. 57, 65.
  111. Wolfgang Bauer: History of Chinese Philosophy. Munich 2001, pp. 60 f., 65 f. Cf. Heiner Roetz: The Chinese Ethics of the Axial Age. Frankfurt am Main 1992, pp. 206 f., 211-215.
  112. For the term and the characters see the dissertation by Franz Geisser: The principle of general love for people in Mo Ti's reform program and his school and its acceptance in China and Europe. Zurich 1947, pp. 34–40.
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  114. Heiner Roetz: The Chinese Ethics of the Axial Age. Frankfurt am Main 1992, pp. 207 f.
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  119. Heiner Roetz: The Chinese Ethics of the Achsenzeit , Frankfurt am Main 1992, pp. 376–378; Hubert Schleichert, Heiner Roetz: Classical Chinese Philosophy. 3rd, revised edition. Frankfurt am Main 2009, p. 95 f. See Bryan W. Van Norden: Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in Early Chinese Philosophy. Cambridge 2007, pp. 145-161.
  120. Wolfgang Bauer: History of Chinese Philosophy. Munich 2001, p. 70.
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  125. Heiner Roetz: The Chinese Ethics of the Axial Age. Frankfurt am Main 1992, pp. 375 f., 400.
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  131. Werner Schneider: Natural law and love ethics. Hildesheim 1971, pp. 160-169; see. Rudolf Rehn ao: Philanthropy. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Volume 7, Basel 1989, Col. 543-552, here: 548 f .; Dagobert de Levie: Philanthropy in the Age of Enlightenment. Bern 1975, p. 49 f.
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  142. Isaak Iselin: Filosofish and patriotic dreams of a philanthropist. Freiburg 1755, p. 15 f.
  143. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Émile ou de l'éducation , ed. by Michel Launay, Paris 1966, p. 293.
  144. Dagobert de Levie: Christian Wolff and the concept of love for people. Krefeld 1972, p. 54 f.
  145. Catherine Duprat: "Pour l'amour de l'humanité". Le temps des philanthropes. Paris 1993, pp. 221 f., 289 f., 335 f., 350.
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  152. ^ Rudolf Rehn et al: Philanthropy. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Volume 7, Basel 1989, Sp. 543-552, here: 549 f.
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  155. See also Benjamin Scheller: Memoria at the turn of the ages. The Jakob Fugger the Rich Foundations before and during the Reformation. Berlin 2004; Andreas Schulz: Patronage and charity - forms of expression of bourgeois public spirit in modern times. In: Jürgen Kocka , Manuel Frey (eds.): Citizenship and patronage in the 19th century , Berlin 1998, pp. 240–263, here: 240–243.
  156. ^ Andreas Voss: Begging and donations. Berlin 1993, p. 15 f.
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  158. Manuel Frey: Power and Morality of Giving. Berlin 1999, p. 36 f.
  159. Catherine Duprat: "Pour l'amour de l'humanité". Le temps des philanthropes. Paris 1993, pp. 65-75; Céline Leglaive-Perani: The Société philanthropique. In: Rainer Liedtke, Klaus Weber (Ed.): Religion and Philanthropy in European Civil Societies. Paderborn 2009, pp. 89-103, here: 90 f.
  160. David Owen: English Philanthropy 1660-1960. Cambridge (Massachusetts) 1964, pp. 120 f.
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  162. Johann Gottlieb Fichte: The instruction to the blessed life or also the doctrine of religion. In: Fichte: Selected works in six volumes. Volume 5, Darmstadt 1962, pp. 103-307, here: 258.
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  164. ^ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Lectures on the philosophy of religion. Volume 2 (= Hegel: Complete Works. Volume 16), 4th edition. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1965, p. 292.
  165. Arthur Schopenhauer: The two basic problems of ethics. In: Schopenhauer: Complete Works , ed. by Arthur Huebscher , Volume 4, Leipzig 1938, pp. 212–215, 226–230.
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  183. ^ Elisabeth Kraus: Modern by tradition: On the history of foundations and patronage in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Historisches Jahrbuch 121, 2001, pp. 400–420, here: 402, 405.
  184. Manuel Frey: Power and Morality of Giving. Berlin 1999, p. 18 f.
  185. ^ Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy , Princeton 1995, pp. 4 f., 9; Olivier Zunz: Philanthropy in America , Princeton 2012, p. 1 f .; Peter Frumkin: Strategic Giving , Chicago 2006, pp. 4-9; Gregory L. Cascione: Philanthropists in Higher Education. New York / London 2003, p. 4 f .; Werner Kalb: Foundations and Education in the USA. Berlin 1968, p. 12 f.
  186. See on the historical development of Peter Dobkin Hall: Philanthropy, the welfare state and the transformation of public institutions in the USA, 1945–2000. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 69-99.
  187. See the articles in the collection of essays Venture Philanthropy in Theory and Practice , edited by Philipp Hoelscher and others , Stuttgart 2010, especially the introduction by Hoelscher pp. 3–12.
  188. Marita Haibach : Women's Movement in Philanthropy , Munich 1997, pp. 79–85. A detailed description is provided by Alan Rabinowitz: Social Change Philanthropy in America , New York 1990.
  189. Klaus Weber : “Welfare”, “Philanthropy” and “Caritas”. Conceptual historical comparison of Germany, France and Great Britain. In: Rainer Liedtke, Klaus Weber (eds.): Religion and Philanthropy in European Civil Societies , Paderborn 2009, pp. 19–37, here: 23 f. Cf. Petra Krimphove: Philanthropists on the move. Vienna 2010, pp. 16-18; Marita Haibach: Women's Movement in Philanthropy. Munich 1997, pp. 14-17.
  190. ^ Gabriele Lingelbach: Donations and collecting. Göttingen 2009, pp. 12–15.
  191. ^ Elisabeth Kraus: Modern by tradition: On the history of foundations and patronage in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Historisches Jahrbuch 121, 2001, pp. 400–420, here: 407–409.
  192. Gabriele Lingelbach offers an overview: Donations and collecting. Göttingen 2009, pp. 30–35.
  193. ^ Elisabeth Kraus: Modern by tradition: On the history of foundations and patronage in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Historisches Jahrbuch 121, 2001, pp. 400–420, here: 412.
  194. See the relevant explanations in contributions to the collection of essays, donors, donors and patrons published by Thomas Adam et al . USA and Germany in historical comparison , Stuttgart 2009, pp. 12, 66, 163–188; Gabriele Lingelbach: Donations and Collecting , Göttingen 2009, p. 38.
  195. ^ Rupert Graf Strachwitz : From Abbe to Mohn - Foundations in Germany in the 20th Century. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 101–132, here: 102. Cf. Simone Lässig : Jews and patronage in Germany. In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 46, 1998, pp. 211–236.
  196. Gabriele Lingelbach: Spenden und Sammeln , Göttingen 2009, p. 38 f. See Frank K. Prochaska: Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century England. Oxford 1980, pp. 5–8 and on the comparable situation in the USA Marita Haibach: Women's Movement in Philanthropy. Munich 1997, p. 47 f.
  197. ^ Gabriele Lingelbach: Donations and collecting. Göttingen 2009, p. 37.
  198. Karl Marx: The misery of philosophy. In: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: Works , Volume 4, Berlin 1977, pp. 63–182, here: 142 f.
  199. Thomas Adam, Simone Lässig, Gabriele Lingelbach: Introduction. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 7-14, here: 7-10. Cf. in the same volume (pp. 41–66) the special study by Thomas Adam: Philanthropy and Housing Reform in the Transatlantic World, 1840–1914 and Werner Kalb: Foundations and Education in the USA. Berlin 1968, p. 1.
  200. See Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy , Princeton 1995, pp. 5-16, 113-122; Alexandre Lambelet: La philanthropy. Paris 2014, pp. 32-42; Petra Krimphove: Philanthropists on the move. Vienna 2010, pp. 53, 57 f.
  201. ^ Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy. Princeton 1995, pp. 36-49.
  202. ^ Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy. Princeton 1995, pp. 86-99.
  203. ^ Peter Dobkin Hall: Philanthropy, Welfare State and the Transformation of Public Institutions in the USA, 1945-2000. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 69-99, here: 70 f.
  204. See on this initiative and the reactions Zoltan J. Acs: Why Philanthropy Matters. Princeton / Oxford 2013, pp. 1–5, 124–130, 205–225.
  205. Petra Krimphove discusses country-specific peculiarities of the “culture of engagement”: Philanthropists on the move. Vienna 2010, pp. 16–19, 23–26, 42–45. Cf. Robert Jacobi: The Goodwill Society. Hamburg 2009, p. 53.
  206. Teresa Odendahl, for example, comes to a critical assessment from this point of view: Charity Begins at Home. Generosity and Self-Interest Among the Philanthropic Elite. New York 1990.
  207. See for example Werner Kalb: Foundations and Education in the USA. Berlin 1968, p. 49.
  208. ^ Francie Ostrower: Why the Wealthy Give. The Culture of Elite Philanthropy , Princeton 1995, pp. 122-128; Alexandre Lambelet: La philanthropie , Paris 2014, pp. 16–19, 31, 33 f .; Peter Frumkin: Strategic Giving , Chicago 2006, pp. 17 f., 55-89. For criticism of the efficiency of the work of large philanthropic foundations, see Martin Morse Wooster: Great Philanthropic Mistakes. Washington (DC) 2006, pp. 152-157; Werner Kalb: Foundations and Education in the USA. Berlin 1968, pp. 195-199.
  209. Frank Adloff: Philanthropisches Demokratie , Frankfurt 2010, p. 413.
  210. ^ Philipp Hoelscher: Venture Philanthropy in Germany and Europe - An Introduction. In: Philipp Hoelscher (Ed.): Venture Philanthropy in Theory and Practice , Stuttgart 2010, pp. 3–12, here: 9 f.
  211. Michael Edwards: Philanthro-capitalism - After the Gold Rush. In: Philipp Hoelscher (Ed.): Venture Philanthropy in Theory and Practice. Stuttgart 2010, pp. 69-78.
  212. ^ Peter Dobkin Hall: Philanthropy, Welfare State and the Transformation of Public Institutions in the USA, 1945-2000. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 69-99, here: 90-93.
  213. ^ Peter Dobkin Hall: Philanthropy, Welfare State and the Transformation of Public Institutions in the USA, 1945-2000. In: Thomas Adam et al. (Ed.): Founders, donors and patrons. USA and Germany in historical comparison. Stuttgart 2009, pp. 69-99, here: 79-99; Rob Reich: Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy. In: Patricia Illingworth et al. (Ed.): Giving Well. The Ethics of Philanthropy. Oxford 2011, pp. 177-195.
  214. ^ Frank Adloff: Philanthropic action. Frankfurt 2010, p. 415 f.
  215. ^ Karl-Heinz Paqué : Philanthropy and Tax Policy , Tübingen 1986, p. 380 f.
  216. ^ Frank Adloff: Philanthropic action. Frankfurt 2010, pp. 14-16.
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