Psychological egoism is the doctrine that the only thing anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing ultimately is. a. entirely selfish goals. b. his or her own. Psychological egoism is the thesis that we are always deep down motivated by . does not concern oneself, but it is hardly altruistic (Feinberg /, §9, p. Psychological egoism is a universal claim: it is a claim about all human actions; the .. Feinberg doesn’t just critique this argument for hedonistic psychological.

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A third argument, like Moore’s, claims that ethical egoism is inconsistent in various ways. For example, kin altruism might recommend that I sacrifice myself for my family, whether I care about them or not, whereas rational egoism would recommend sacrifice only if my welfare were to be higher were I to sacrifice and die rather than not sacrifice and live.

So yielding the fitness-enhancing outcome of parental care will be less vulnerable to disruption. Still others involve affronts to our religious, moral, or patriotic sensibilities e. The altruistic mechanism is based on an altruistic ultimate desire to care for its offspring.

Ethical egoism then says that it is right for me to do something I cannot aim to do. Indeed, without an estimate of how strong this desire is, there is no reason to think the egoistic hypothesis is less reliable.

Joel Feinberg

Richard Dawkins offers us some ideas of this sort. Rational Egoism Rational egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action psychplogical be rational that it maximize one’s self-interest. Perhaps I cannot get the benefits of cooperation without converting to some non-egoist moral theory.


It is usually directed at psychological hedonismbut the problem can be extended to psychological egoism generally. Beginning with ancient philosophy, Epicureanism claims humans live to maximize pleasure.

Moreover, there is a growing body of evidence gathered by developmental psychologists indicating that young children have a natural, unlearned concern for others.

Psychological Egoism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Her desire to win makes her anxious during her matches, and thus she does not play well and loses. Third, and most importantly, a charitable construal of psychological egoism renders it falsifiable. But I am a member of various groups as well. A significant portion of it is devoted to various kinds of egoism. Beginning around the s, C. But fit with motivation is hardly decisive; any normative theory, including ethical egoism, is intended to guide and criticize our choices, rather than simply endorse whatever we do.

Ethical egoists do best by defending rational egoism instead. Another argument for psychological egoism relies on the idea that we often blur our conception of ourselves and others when we are benevolent.

With these points in mind, we can characterize egoistic and altruistic desires in the following way: Rational egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be rational that it maximize one’s self-interest.

Despite its popularity, this sort of objection to psychological egoism is quite questionable. This page was last edited on 31 Octoberat This argument can be directed against rational egoism as well.

Thus, pleasure meant an animal was fulfilling its egoist goal of self survival, and pleasure would always be pursued because species constantly strive for survival. There are two main theories. However, immediate gratification can be sacrificed for a chance of greater, future pleasure. In other words, we have an ulterior motive when we help others—one that likely tends to fly below the radar feknberg consciousness or introspection.

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Utilitarians, for example, agree about these facts. If true, this entails that psychological egoism is false. The hedonistic mechanism always begins with the ultimate desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. According to the “merge with others hypothesis”, empathy increases the more an individual feels like they are one with another person, and decreases as the oneness decreases.

At the very least, the argument is dialectically unhelpful —it offers premises in support of the conclusion that are as controversial as the conclusion is, and for similar reasons. Or say that I am A and an ethical egoist. Again, moving to good-for-me avoids this consequence. Sidgwick and Contemporary EthicsPsychologucal Retrieved from ” https: Psychological altruismon the other hand, is the view that sometimes we can have ultimately altruistic motives.

Several egoistic explanations of the empathy-helping relationship are in competition with the empathy-altruism hypothesis. These worries are not decisive. Parfit gives two main arguments against rational egoism.

So psycgological is important to get a clear idea of the competing egoistic versus altruistic theories and of the terms of the debate between them.