Give Three Arguments For Psychological Egoism

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Give three arguments for psychological egoism. Are any of them convincing? Psychological egoism is a theory that suggests that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism. The theory claims that, when people choose to help others, they do so ultimately because of the personal benefits that they themselves stand to gain, directly or indirectly, from doing so. Psychological egoism is a non-normative or descriptive theory in that it only makes claims about how things are and not how they ought to be. The theory is, however, related to several other normative forms of egoism, such as ethical egoism and rational egoism. The following essay seeks to determine the practicality of psychological egoism as a…show more content…
Such an act would certainly appear unselfish, but there are two arguments that the psychological egoist may put forward to argue that this is not the case. The first argument in favour of psychological egoism is that because people always do what they most want to do (act on their strongest desire), it follows that they always act selfishly. The psychological egoist would argue that in describing a man’s action as unselfish, we are over-looking the fact that this action is done voluntarily, and that “the agent is merely doing what he most wants to do.” If Smith stays behind to help his friend, that only shows that he wanted to help his friend more than he wanted to go to the country” (159). Rachels suggests that the argument is flawed in that it simply assumes that people only do things that they want to do,

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