Psychological Egoism Essay - 1517 Words
Prospects for psychological egoism are dim. Even if some versionescapes recent empirical arguments, there seems little reason, oncethe traditional philosophical confusions have been noted, for thinkingit is true. At best it is a logical possibility, like some forms ofscepticism.
Free College Essay Ethical and Psychological Egoism
A different problem for rational egoism is that it appearsarbitrary. Suppose I claim that I ought to maximize the welfare ofblue-eyed people, but not of other people. Unless I can explain whyblue-eyed people are to be preferred, my claim looks arbitrary, in thesense that I have given no reason for the different treatments. As arational egoist, I claim that I ought to maximize the welfare of oneperson (myself). Unless I can explain why I should be preferred, myclaim looks equally arbitrary.
A common objection to psychological egoism, made famously by JosephButler, is that I must desire things other than my own welfare in orderto get welfare. Say I derive welfare from playing hockey. Unless Idesired, for its own sake, to play hockey, I would not derive welfarefrom playing. Or say I derive welfare from helping others. Unless Idesired, for its own sake, that others do well, I would not derivewelfare from helping them. Welfare results from my action, but cannotbe the only aim of my action.
Psychological egoism essay | Applecheek Farm
Second, if psychological egoism is false, I might lack a preferencefor my own welfare. It would follow that for me, a distinction betweenmy welfare and that of others would be arbitrary, and the rationalegoist claim that each ought to maximize his own welfare would beunjustified when applied to me. The proposal that preferences establishnon-arbitrary distinctions supports the instrumental theory better thanrational egoism.
The Fallacies of Egoism and Altruism, and the …
Rational egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for anaction to be rational that it maximize one's self-interest. (As withethical egoism, there are variants which drop maximization or evaluaterules or character traits rather than actions. There are also variantswhich make the maximization of self-interest necessary but notsufficient, or sufficient but not necessary, for an action to berational. One might also think of the rational act as what maximizesor as what would be reasonably believed to maximize. Again, we setthese issues aside.)
Sep 20, 2013 · But, still, I see her point
Against the second inconsistency charge, the ethical egoist can claimthat she morally recommends that B go to the game, althoughshe desires that B not go. This is no more odd than claimingthat my opponent in a game would be wise to adopt a particularstrategy, while desiring that he not do so. True, the ethical egoistis unlikely to recommend ethical egoism to others, to blame others forviolations of what ethical egoism requires, to justify herself toothers on the basis of ethical egoism, or to express moral attitudessuch as forgiveness and resentment. These publicity worries maydisqualify ethical egoism as a moral theory, but do not showinconsistency.
Much of the fear of egoism really is reflexive
One might also object to Prichard-style arguments that (a) they arequestion-begging, since egoists will hardly agree that my reason forhelping is something other than the benefit to me, and (b) givendisagreement over this claim about my reason, the appropriate responseis to suspend judgment about it. Alison Hills, in 2010 parts II and III (directed atrational egoism), replies to (a) that moralists can assure themselvesby giving arguments that start from premises like “I have areason to help regardless of whether doing so contributes to myself-interest,” provided this premiss is not inferred from thefalsity of rational egoism — perhaps it is self-evident. Inreply to (b), she argues that disagreement over the premiss does notrequire moralists to suspend judgment about it, although disagreementover an egoistic premiss like “I have reason to help onlybecause doing so benefits me” does require egoists to suspend judgment. Thedifference is that rational egoists aim at knowledge, and for putativeknowledge, in cases of disagreement between epistemic peers,suspension of belief is required. Moralists aim primarily not atknowledge but at the ability to draw, on their own, true moralconclusions from the evidence. Since aiming at this abilityrequires giving weight to the conclusions of others,suspension of belief in cases of disagreement is not required ofthem.