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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

February 24, 1997
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

Hopkins Philosopher Examines Philanthropy

What makes people give?

As the country increasingly relies on philanthropy to cure our social ills, those in the fund- raising field often find themselves among a sea of others with hands out-stretched, looking for a way to stand out, to reach their donors and for that magic formula to raise money for their cause. What these people could use, suggests Johns Hopkins University philosopher J.B. Schneewind, is a look at the big picture.

In the book Giving, Schneewind, an expert on moral theory and ethics, has brought together top thinkers from a variety of backgrounds and asked them to write about charity and philanthropy from the perspective of their disciplines. In the book, historians, philosophers, sociologists, economists and practitioners in the field look at giving: today's trends, history's mark, its moral implications and its modern applications.

Schneewind and the other authors tackle questions like: Why do we give? Is it truly altruism at work? Are we driven more by individual or class interests? How have attitudes toward charity and philanthropy changed over time? Does charitable giving do more harm than good? What is the perception of giving among minority groups?

For an interview with J.B. Schneewind, please call Leslie Rice at (410)516-7160. For a copy of the book, call Indiana University Press at (812) 855-8054. The book's ISBN is 0-253-33072-6.

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