Psychological Egoism

652 Words Mar 31st, 2008 3 Pages
Psychological egoism is the view that everyone always acts selfishly. It describes human nature as being wholly self-centered and self-motivated. Psychological egoism is different from ethical egoism in their “direction of fit” to the world. Psychological ego-ism is a factual theory. It aims to fit the world. In the world is not how psychological ego-ism says it is because someone acts unselfishly, then something is wrong with psycho-logical egoism. In my opinion this argument is completely wrong and unsound. According to James Rachel, an author of “Elements of Moral Philosophy,” there two main arguments exist against psychological egoism. The first argument can be formulated as such:
1) Everyone always does what they most want to
…show more content…
Rachels p. 74) One can conclude from this that it is the object of the want that should be considered when determining the selfishness of an act. The second argument for psychological egoism is formulated like this:
1) Everyone always does what they most want to do.
2) If are does what one wants to do, ones gets satisfaction.
3) If one gets satisfaction from doing what they want to do, then satisfaction is one’s only goal
4) If satisfaction is one’s only goal, one acts selfishly.
5) Everyone always acts selfishly. The major criticism of this argument lays in premise three, its “factual premise” as James Rachel calls it in his book. Opponents of this argument and Rachel being one of them, imply that it is wrong to say that satisfaction is one’s only goal because satisfaction doesn’t even have to be a goal. Satisfaction is the presumable state that results from ob-taining a goal. Thus premise three is wrong. One can say that you can make satisfaction your goal if you will feel bad if you don’t do something, but this is not always the case. Satisfaction can result from something else. And it is also incorrect to say that one makes satisfaction his goal then chooses his desires to fulfill the satisfaction. (J. Rachels p. 82) The second criticism is in premise four. Rachels proposes to change the premise, making it less problematic by saying that satisfaction is “ones’ primary goal” instead of “one’s only goal.”…