What is psychological egoism, and how does it differ from ethical egoism? What do you think is the best argument in favor of the theory? Do you think the theory. Psychological Egoism is the thesis that we always act from selfish motives. It holds that all don’t you see?” Taken from Feinberg, ‘Psychological Egoism’. Moral Motivation and Human Nature. Psychological Egoism*. JOEL FEINBERG. A. THE THEORY. 1. “PSYCHOLOGICAL EGOISM” is the name given to a theory.

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Desiring happiness per se would make no sense if this is what is meant by it. Though Feinberg, who had read and re-read Mill’s classic text many times, [5] shares Mill’s liberal leanings, he thinks that liberals can and should admit that certain kinds of non-harmful but profoundly offensive conduct can also properly be koel by law.

Some of the acts involve affronts to the senses e. Feinberg was internationally distinguished for his research in moralsocial and legal philosophy.

Joel Feinberg

Just because all successful endeavour engenders pleasure does not necessarily entail that pleasure is the sole objective of all endeavour. Sign in Create an account. He frinberg the arguments as follows: Feinberg’s most important contribution to legal philosophy is his four-volume book, The Moral Limits of the Criminal Lawa work that is frequently characterized as “magisterial. Newer Post Older Post Home.

Can you achieve happiness by only acting out of a desire for happiness? Psychological Egoism is the position that the ultimate motive of all actions is selfish. Find it on Scholar.

Steinblog: Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism

No keywords specified fix it. The opening argument he dubs a tautology [14] from which “nothing whatever concerning the nature of my motives or the objective of my desires can possibly follow [ Classical and Contemporary Readings sixth edition Belmont: To use this website, you must agree to our Privacy Policyincluding cookie policy.


Request removal from index. This, of course is perverse—a psychological theory stands or falls on the basis of the empirical evidence that is mustered for it! 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.

About project SlidePlayer Terms of Service. Is your point that there a variety of ‘happinesses’ which are entwined in an experience such that they can’t come apart, e. Joshua May – – Internet Encyclopeida of Philosophy.

It is not the genesis of an action or the origin of its motives which makes it a ‘selfish’ one, but rather the ‘purpose’ of the act or the objective of its motives; not where the motive comes from in voluntary actions it always comes from the agent but what it aims at determines whether or not it is selfish.

We often deceive ourselves as to the real motives for our actions, and we rationalize them later. Analytic statements —true by definition here empirical information is irrelevant and superfluous. Altruism and Psychological Egoism in Normative Ethics. Broad – – Hibbert Journal Feinberg contends that the logical statements can never entail psycholobical ones though he may unhelpfully mix up distinctions of logic and of meaning here.

Still others involve affronts to our religious, moral, or patriotic sensibilities feinbeerg. Glasgow – – Ethics 88 4: Alexander Moseley – – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. If they were really selfish, they would have no cause to feel pleasure at helping others.


Feinberg poses a thought experiment in which a character named Jones is apathetic about all but the pursuit of his own happiness. It is equally possible that none of our actions are selfish, even the ones that efoism most selfish. If you wish to download it, please recommend it to your friends in any social system. According to Mill, the only kind of conduct that the state may rightly criminalize is conduct that causes harm to others.

Thursday, March 7, Joel Feinberg: Cited here form reprint in Reason and Responsibility seventh editioned.

We think you have liked this presentation. Namely, nothing follows from a tautology.

It may be true that we often or even always deceive ourselves as to our true motives, but this argument is entirely egoim. Further, they claim the solution to avoiding suffering is enlightenment. It’s hard to follow these arguments.

A logical mistake is made in psychokogical first argument. In the process, he defends what many would view as characteristically “liberal” positions on topics such as suicide, obscenity, pornography, hate speech, and euthanasia. March 19, at So far as he can tell, there are four primary arguments for it:. That means all actions are selfish. In the final argument, Feinberg sees a paradox. Once she is no longer playing to win, she relaxes and thus wins.

His major four-volume work, The Moral Limits of the Criminal Lawwas published between and The fourth argument for psychological egoism [pleasure, pain, and moral education] leads to paradox: