Arguments Against Psychological Egoism

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Psychological egoism is the view that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seems to be acts of altruism. When people choose to help others, they do so ultimately because of the personal benefits that they expect to get. Psychological egoism is most attributed by Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy Bentham. However, many philosophers explicitly reject psychological egoism such as Joseph Butler. Psychological egoism has a famous story involved by Abraham Lincoln, where he argued that humans are all ultimately self-interested when he stooped to save piglets from downing. The person he talked to pointed out that Lincoln just saved them without self-interest, but Lincoln replied, “I should have had no peace of mind all day had I gone on and left…show more content…
Thomas Hobbes argued that, instead of an altruistic approach, we do deeds out of charity, and it is a demonstration of power. If we help others, we show people that we are more resourceful than others. Another one is pity. We pity others because we imagine ourselves in their place. Helping others is actually a fear of how we might end up, and if we help them, they will help us in return when the times comes. However, there are also arguments against psychological egoism as well. In face, a large measure of effort is spent in growing up to resist the natural instinct to act in our own self-interest without first thinking of the other person. A selfish person, for example, most likely wouldn’t have been terribly concerned for the piglets drowning. And, as you look for deeper motivations on why someone would help the piglets, you will generally run into the conclusion that the person cares about what happens to others. In the end, psychological egoism is just a persuasive theory, and at it’s core it is impossible to prove it wrong, or right. In the end, it is up to you to decide for yourself if you believe in it or
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