Though most people are altruistic to some degree, a pre-occupation with one’s own affairs seems part of the natural condition of humankind (cf. Rawls 1972:127). We want altruistic motives to be encouraged and we think that society would be better if altruism were more abundant. It is natural to think that of what legal measures and institutional arrangements might be designed to engineer more altruistic behaviour among people. Indeed in some situations-where failures of altruism can cause great harm-we may even require that people are altruistic by punishing them if they are not. The paradigm case of such coercively imposed altruism is the sphere of Bad Samaritan legislation, defended in Cécile Fabre’s contribution to this volume. There remain, however, powerful objections to the institutionalisation of altruism in cases where it is coercively enforced by the state, and even, I think, where it is merely officially encouraged. ‘I may choose to be altruistic’, a person might say, ‘if and when I wish to be, but why should the state impel me to be so, in fact why should it exhort or cajole me into behaving in a way I do not wish to behave?’.