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It is the theory that all our actions are motivated by self-interest.
The view is endorsed by philosophers such as Tomas Hobbes and Friedrich Nietzsche.
A self-interested action is one that is motivated to serve your own interest. You drink water because you have an interest in quenching your own thirst. You show up for work because you have an interest in being paid.
Psychological egoists think they can explain actions that do not seem self-interested. A motorist who stops to help someone who has broken down may believe that they too may need help one day.
The most obvious objection to psychological egoism is that there are numerous clear examples of people putting others' interests before their own.
Although psychological egoists think they can explain seemingly virtuous actions, their theory rests on a false account of human motivation. The fact that someone feels virtuous after performing a good deed may be true, but it is often just a side effect of their action. They didn't necessarily do it in order to get those feelings.
To the critics, the theory is too simple. Being hard-headed is not a virtue if it means ignoring contrary evidence. Most of us have a natural concern for others, perhaps because we are social beings by nature.
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