Cameron Hollopeter

1271 Words6 Pages
The act of saving someone can be defined as heroic and selfless. In the case of Cameron Hollopeter, who had experienced a seizure and fell onto the track of an approaching train, and Wesley Autrey, the father who saved Hollopeter, the actions were compared to psychological egoism. This was detailed in whether Autrey, having almost sacrificed his life to save Hollopeter, was done out of pure altruism or selfish desires. The theory of psychological egoism follows as that anything an individual is “capable of pursuing” is ultimately in their “self interest” (Feinberg, 584). A psychological egoist delineates a person can desire happiness for other so long it means there happiness is benefited. Furthermore, actions that are “purely altruistic…show more content…
To only help others or to carry out any action purely driven by selfish desires would mean the individual does not care for the person or what they are doing. In the case of the train incident, Autrey would have to care for the well being of Hollopeter to sacrifice the chances of not surviving to save him. If he were to only be motivated by self interest, it would mean that he only cared for himself but that would not correlate with his actions. His actions could be seen as self deception and skewed by the motives of others, referring back to society’s expectations, however under similar circumstances many would not do what Autrey did. Setting aside self interest, the only reason a person would jump down onto an active track would be if they genuinely had a benevolent mindset. Nonetheless, no one can speak on behalf of the agent or “even be certain what conscious motives” dictate their actions (Feinberg, 588). Though a psychological egoist would defend that desires are the sole reason for a person to commit an action, non-psychological egoists would respond with the (notion) that certain actions can be self interest driven but others can be purely selfless and
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