Difference Between Ethical And Psychological Egoism

1017 Words5 Pages
Maria Monserrat
28 April 2015
Exam 2 Ethical vs Psychological Egoism Egoism is the theory that one 's self is the motivation and goal of one 's own action. “The term egoism derives from ego, the Latin term for 'I ' in English. (Moseley)” There are two types of egoism: psychological and ethical. Psychological egoism asserts that people always act selfishly and self-centered. Ethical egoism asserts that people should always act in his or her own self interest. Psychological egoism defines how we are as human beings. It is the prime idea that selfless acts do not exist. It is the belief that all people are selfish. For example if you help an old lady cross the street and it makes you feel good, a psychological egoist will say that it is selfish because it made you feel good. According to a psychological egoist, humans are naturally selfish and we have no other option but to think of ourselves. Psychological egoism claims that when people choose to help others it is because of the personal benefits they themselves obtain or expect to obtain from doing so. For example, there is an episode in FRIENDS that gives the perfect example of psychological egoism. Joey and Phoebe have a debate wether there are completely nice acts. Joey was on T.V to helo raise money for a charity. Pheobe tells him that what he did was not for the charity but for himself. Joey states that there are no selfless good deeds. He says that “all people are selfish and if you 're not selfish you
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