What is psychological egoism, and how does it differ from ethical egoism? What do you think is the best argument in favor of the theory? Do you think the theory. Psychological Egoism is the thesis that we always act from selfish motives. It holds that all don’t you see?” Taken from Feinberg, ‘Psychological Egoism’. Moral Motivation and Human Nature. Psychological Egoism*. JOEL FEINBERG. A. THE THEORY. 1. “PSYCHOLOGICAL EGOISM” is the name given to a theory.

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Charles Sayward – – Facta Philosophica 8 January Learn joe and when to remove this template message. In a paper prepared in for the benefit of students at Brown, Feinberg seeks feinnerg refute the philosophical theory of psychological egoismwhich in his opinion is fallacious.

Egoists might allow that pleasure or happiness [for oneself] may well not be the only motivating factors. Feinberg contends that the logical statements can never entail contingent ones though he may unhelpfully mix up distinctions of logic and of meaning here. Added to PP index Total downloads 1, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 95 3, of 2, How can I increase my downloads?

Alexander Moseley – – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

A wgoism mistake is made in the first argument. The only way to achieve happiness, he believes, is to forget about it, but psychological egoists hold that all human endeavour, even that which achieves happiness, is geared towards happiness.

We also often sacrifice our own interests out of spite.

Joel Feinberg

Joshua May – – European Journal of Philosophy 19 1: When we find people that really obey the law and general moral principles to avoid punishment, or only do the right thing for some reward, we regard them as having missed the point. No keywords specified fix it.

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Egoism as a Theory of Human Motives. So I’m missing something or I’m misunderstanding the force of the conclusion. My presentations Profile Feedback Log out. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Languages Deutsch Edit links. The fourth argument for psychological egoism [pleasure, pain, and moral education] leads to paradox: So our motivation cannot be simply driven by pleasure alone.

Feinberg clarifies psychological egoism and maintains that there are several things wrong with this theory. More precisely, it raises the question “whether there are any human experiences that are harmless in themselves yet so unpleasant that we can rightly demand legal protection from them even at the cost of other persons’ liberties.

It’s hard to follow these arguments. This, of course is perverse—a psychological theory stands or falls on the basis of the empirical evidence that is mustered for it! Broad on Psychological Egoism.

Joel Feinberg, Psychological Egoism – PhilPapers

Share buttons are a little bit lower. Feinberg studied at the University of Michiganwriting his dissertation on the philosophy of the Harvard professor Ralph Barton Perry under the supervision of Charles Stevenson.

Every action of mine is my action, springing from thoughts and motives that are mine, so every action is at base, selfish.

What sorts of conduct may the state rightly make criminal? Further, they claim feinherg solution to avoiding suffering is enlightenment.


Feinberg observes that such arguments for psychological egoism are rarely mounted on the basis of empirical proof when, being psychological, they very well ought to. Psychological Egoism is the position that the ultimate motive of all actions is selfish.

If they were really selfish, they would have no cause to feel pleasure at helping others. Feedback Privacy Policy Feedback. Sign in Create an account.

The only way to achieve the desire is to no longer desire it. Feinberg’s most important contribution to legal philosophy is his four-volume book, The Moral Limits of the Criminal Lawa work that is frequently characterized as “magisterial. He nevertheless adjudges that such a sweeping generalisation is unlikely to be true. Critique of Psychological Egoism: If a person asserts or believes a general statement in such a way that he cannot conceive of any possible experience which he would count as evidence against it, then he cannot be said to be asserting or believing an empirical hypothesis.

He is known for his work in the fields of ethicsaction theoryphilosophy of lawand political philosophy [1] as well as individual rights and the authority of the state. Mark Mercer – – Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 4: He uses William James ‘s analogy to illustrate this fallacy: Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves awareness, practice, and motivation.