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What Is Psychological Egoism?

thoughtco.com

Psychological egoism

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.

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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 a...

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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 hu...

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  • A selfish action sacrifices someone else's interests for their own. For example, grabbing the last slice of cake.
  • An unselfish action is where you place another person's interests ahead of your own. For example, you offer someone the l...

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  • It satisfies our preference for simplicity. In science, we favour theories that explain several phenomena by showing them to all be controlled by the same force. Newton's theory of gravity gives one principle to explain a falling apple.
  • It offers a seemingl...

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