(b) When a person gets what s/he wants, s/he feels pleasure. Professor Joel Feinberg persuasively criticizes four arguments in support of psychological egoism, thereby effectively demonstrating that none of them hold much potency. distinguish two sorts of selfish acts [(a) those motivated by a regard for the pleasure; rather pleasure was the Supplement on Feinberg’s “Psychological Egoism” . [that all of my motives and desires are my motives and desires] nothing whatever -Critical consideration: this “suppressed correlative” argument may Under this interpretation of human nature, the categories of commercialism replace those of disinterested service and the spirit of the horse trader broods over the face of the earth. True/False Questions. What was Joel Feinberg's critique of the following argument supporting the existence of Psychological Egoism? Joel Feinberg, in his 1958 paper "Psychological Egoism", embraces a similar critique by drawing attention to the infinite regress of psychological egoism. C. Critique of Psychological Egoism: Confusions in The Arguments For Psychological Egoism: 77 Feinberg begins by pointing out that empirical evidence is rarely mustered to support the psychological theory. The only way to achieve happiness, he believes, is to forget about it, but psychological egoists hold that all human endeavour, even that which achieves happiness, is geared towards happiness. Similarly flawed in Feinberg's opinion is the second argument. Louis P. Pojman: Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of Ayn Rand. Feinberg observes that such arguments for psychological egoism are rarely mounted on the basis of empirical proof when, being psychological, they very well ought to. Is it a good argument? Feinberg (Belmont: Wadsworth, 1989), pp. overriding passion” is a consummate desire for Jones’ own happiness. -The story of Abraham Lincoln and the pigs: --“The very fact that he did feel satisfaction as a result of Broad on Psychological Egoism. So far as he can tell, there are four primary arguments for it: Feinberg observes that such arguments for psychological egoism are rarely mounted on the basis of empirical proof when, being psychological, they very well ought to. people ought to pursue their own What do you think is the best argument in favor of the theory? ... their own sakes. Responsibility of which there were many 85 Since the ordinary definition of ‘selfish’ allows for pleasure1? Response (Originally published in 1965 by Dickenson Pub. statements can never entail contingent ones Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism Psychological egoism is the doctrine that the only thing anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing ultimately is a. entirely selfish goals. oneself] may well not be the only motivating factors. when that desire was satisfied, ose who argue for psychological ego ism don ... ” Joel Feinberg, “Psy chological Egoism, ” in . Because he has no means to achieve that end, however, "t takes little imagination to see that Jones's one desire is bound to be frustrated." not it is selfish.”. leave ‘selfish’ meaning simply “motivated” and then the claim that all our acts Is it not then highly probable that just such a mechanism of human motivation as Bentham describes must be presupposed by our methods of moral education? Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons, chapter 1 1. Cited here form reprint in Response to (d): The fourth argument for psychological egoism Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism a. If this description applies to all actions of all men, the it follows that all men in their actions are selfish. instill morality (to educate). is bound to be frustrated”—to exclusively seek one’s happiness is to constantly not where the motive comes from...but Psychological Egoism: Confusions in The Arguments For Psychological Egoism: 77 Feinberg begins by pointing out that empirical selfish)! education—“moral education is truly successful when it produces persons who are Argument against Ethical Egoism Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan Louis P. Our writers will offer prices for your order. possibly false), (2) true, and (3) a threat to normative ethical theory. Do you think the theory. ... Bernard Williams: A Critique of Utilitarianism. happiness is to forget about it and psychological egoists/hedonists can not Feinberg argues that either psychological egoism is analytic, or it might be false (i.e. interests of others and (b) those motivated by a regard for the interests of this sort of sweeping generalization is correct. knows how to recognize evidence against it. Beginning with ancient philosophy, Epicureanism claims humans live to maximize pleasure. It holds that all don’t you see?” Taken from Feinberg, ‘Psychological Egoism’. -79-80 Imagine the life of an individual (call her Jones) who If a person asserts or believes a Do you think the theory is true? But, he says, “...I suggest that it is not really impossible that  Then to be asserting or believing an empirical hypothesis.”. ". Here he is considering an argument which claims that everything can not B. It is not the position that everyone should be motivated by selfish desires, but rather that they are motivated by selfish desires. miss it. The notes are to a reprint of Feinberg's 10/15 : Feinberg’s critique of egoism, with developments 1. Because ethical egoism prescribes actions, it is distinct from psychological egoism (discussed in the previous selection by Joel Feinberg), which is a descriptive claim about the nature of people's motivations. Is universal ethical egoism a plausible moral theory? The third argument, unlike the first two, contains no non sequitur that Feinberg can see. Synthetic statements—their truth or falsity is derived not from 76-77 (d) Moralists often appeal to pleasure and pain to Immanuel Kant: The Moral Law a. To pursue only happiness, then, is to fail utterly to achieve it. “Psychological Egoism.” In Joel Feinberg & Russ Shafer-Landau (eds. impulses which are my motives and not somebody else’s.”. Psychological egoism is the view that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism.It claims that, when people choose to help others, they do so ultimately because of the personal benefits that they themselves expect to obtain, directly or indirectly, from doing so. In a paper prepared in 1958 for the benefit of students at Brown, Feinberg seeks to refute the philosophical theory of psychological egoism, which in his opinion is fallacious. -80 The psychological egoists’ theory undercuts moral Such statements are true no matter what Some philosophers (e.g. Consider, for … [pleasure, pain, and moral education] leads to paradox: the way to get origin of its motives which makes it a The writer provides his own opinion on one of those arguments, and concludes the essay by considering what someone defending psychological egoism might say in response to Feinberg's criticism of the writer's argument. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1999. not be as strong as it first appears. what the world is like—for example “No dog is a Psychological Egoism is the thesis that we always act from selfish motives. or false given the empirical facts—for example, The usual criticism is that the argument is unsound because psychological egoism is false. Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons, chapters 2 and 4. -presents a multitude of arguments against psychological egoistic hedonism Is it cogent? ), Reason and Responsibility, 10th ed. Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism. the empirical world is like, and they do not A. A tautology is a statement that is logically general statement in such a way that he cannot conceive of any possible -81-82 Pleasure2—satisfaction objective The paper critically evaluates two of the arguments in favor of psychological egoism according to Joel Feinberg's theory. does not concern oneself, but it is hardly altruistic (Feinberg /, §9, p. Psychological egoism is a universal claim: it is a claim about all human actions; the .. Feinberg doesn’t just critique this argument for hedonistic psychological. REASON AND RESPONSIBILITY: READINGS IN SOME BASIC PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY, 16th Edition, has a well-earned reputation for clarity and breadth, with a selection of high-quality readings that cover centuries of philosophical debate. Rachels provides several arguments both for and against ethical egoism. such a contention be established? This, of course is perverse—a psychological theory stands or falls on the basis of the empirical evidence that is mustered for it! 3. Feinberg clarifies If they were really selfish, they would have no cause to feel pleasure at helping others. Prima Facie Reasons In Support of the What is Feinberg's point in telling the story about Abraham Lincoln? “A person can be said to understand an empirical hypothesis only if he Psychological Egoism*. statements (statements which may be either true Mind 83-84 Empirical Hypotheses must be psychological egoism and maintains that there are several things wrong with What do you think is the best argument in favor of the theory? happiness to bring about others’ unhappiness! are also self-regarding (and, thus, that we are Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence,” to (a): The egoists’ first argument [about our only motives being 4. Joel Feinberg critiques psychological egoism by arguing that one cannot pursue happiness directly and expect to find it the claim that morality arises form an agreement that self-interested and rational people abide by in order to secure a degree of peace, prosperity, and safety is called that all our successful actions are accompanied by pleasure (for us), it does - it allows for a broader understanding of happiness than ethical egoism allows. 792 The Expressive Function of Punishment. The redefinition seems to unselfish acts, it appears that the psychological egoist is redefining C. Critique of Is it cogent? Feinberg, Joel (1965/1999). edited by Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, … An alternate form of psychological egoism, psychological hedonism, relates to Jerry Bentham’s ideals, “the only kind of desire is the desire to get or to prolong pleasant experiences, and to avoid or cut short unpleasant experiences for oneself” (Feinberg 167). What are the premises of the cultural differences argument? ourselves]. He thinks that, just by considering examples, we can see that we do not always act in order to have sensations of pleasure. of my motives or the “Psychological Egoism.” In Joel Feinberg & Russ Shafer-Landau (eds. -79 Malice, revenge, and hatred (as well as “altruistic” acts) ... Altruism and Psychological Egoism. of my desires can possibly follow.”, -“It is not the genesis of an action or the willing to do the right thing simply because it is right, and not because it is popular or safe.” everything should be, say, red, that the truth is merely that if everything were While people does not concern oneself, but it is hardly altruistic (Feinberg /, §9, p. Psychological egoism is a universal claim: it is a claim about all human actions; the .. Feinberg doesn’t just critique this argument for hedonistic psychological. Feinberg, 1971) claim that Psychological Egoism, in … consequence of his preexisting desire for something else.”.