Psychological and Ethical Egoists in the Film, Crimes and Misdemeanors

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What if you only thought about yourself every day? What if you made no attempts to help a friend of family member in need? What if you did what was best for you and only you? Would you be able to live with yourself? The views of a psychological egoist have clear answers to the previous questions. A psychological egoist believe in just those sorts of behaviors. While in contrasting view of an ethical egoist believe in what we ought to do. These views were both demonstrated in the film “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Each of those views make an impact on how one lives their lives, and the circumstances associated with each view. Taking a look at the differences and similarities of psychological egoism and ethical egoism is the first…show more content…
The characters of Jack and Judah in the film do resemble egoistic views. Jack holds the view of a psychological egoist while Judah holds the view of an ethical egoist. Jack believes that you need to do whatever it takes to be successful in this world. One can see this easily because of the business that he is in and as he encourages his brother, Judah, to take advantage of the opportunity he can provide. He suggests that murder is okay to Judah because it would benefit him. Clearly this is in the interest of him and only him. Jack does not see anything morally wrong with murder or the business he is in, he only sees the benefits he or his brother would receive. Judah throughout the movie is lost, confused, and struggling between views of life. He knows that murder is morally wrong however he encourages it anyways. The action of killing his mistress supports a psychological egoist view. It only benefits himself and concern for others is absent. However the guilt he feels afterwards means he knows it wasn’t a morally sound decision. Judah struggled to find his view on life. This movie is all about the struggle and is symbolic of the moral decisions that one are forced to make every day. This film portrays the decisions on a larger scale however one can relate to Judah‘s struggles. Where is the line drawn in our actions of helping out ourselves if it is at the expense of

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