Psychological Egoism The descriptive claim made by Psychological Egoists is that humans, by nature, are motivated only by self-interest. Any act, no matter how altruistic it may seem on the outside is actually only a disguise for a selfish desire such as recognition, avoiding guilt, reward or sense of personal ‘goodness’ or morality. For example, Mother Teresa is just using the poor for her own long-term spiritual gain. Being a universal claim, it could falter with a single counterexample.
Selfishness is a term fairly notorious for its meaning. A lot of people accept that being selfish is wrong, but no one knows how this came about and why it matters. Who has the right to decide whether someone gets to be selfish or not? In his article “The unselfishness Trap”, Harry Browne says that the best way for people to be happy is when if everyone sacrifices but me. Thomas Nagel, on the other hand, argues in his article “The Objective Basis of Morality” that being concerned about others is more important. Being selfish, for many people, is evil. By definition, selfishness is to be more concerned about yourself than others, but that would essentially make every living human being a “selfish” being.
The idea of self-sacrifice seems relatively common-sense to most of us: we forgo some current potential good in order to maximise either the good of someone we care about, or our own later good. Richard Brandt (1972) includes altruistic desires in his definition of self-interest: "if I really desire the happiness of my daughter, or the discomfiture of my department chairman ... then getting that desire satisfied ... counts as being an enhancement of my utility or welfare ... to an extent corresponding to how strongly I want that outcome." The key point here is that by this definition of self-interest, an altruistic act must have a number of conditions in order to be classed as self-sacrifice. Ove...
...y altruistic-concerned with the welfare of others and not theirs-then any altruistic action would not begin in the first place (Oren, 2010). This is because none of the agents in the altruistic world would need any help from other altruistic agents. This argument is purely philosophical and has the necessary mathematical rigor required. However, the major argument that chief opponents of altruism put forward is the idea of self-responsibility. Under ordinary conditions, an individual has no obligation to help others. In this regard, people should only engage in actions that are personally rewarding. Moreover, being concerned with the welfare of others at the expense of one’s own amounts to self-neglect; this is true since true altruism dictates that agents have no personal interests. This implies that agents in altruistic world take no responsibility for themselves.
One’s desire is egoistic if and only if it concerns the benefit of oneself and not anyone else. On the other hand ones desires are altruistic if and only if it concerns the benefit of at least someone other than oneself. The pros of altruism state that people will begin to take advantage of you, it is impossible to only make others happy, and you would be neglecting your own needs. The pros of egoism include establishing a greater sense personal identity in a community, promoting a sustainable household, it also promotes that all basic personal needs will always be met. The other half of this argument, the con sides of egoism, state that it will ruin relationships, it completely eliminates objectivity, you are neglecting the needs of others, you would be isolated and independent, and it requires that everyone practice its philosophy. The issue with that is that most people are not comfortable with the concept of always putting themselves
While being self-sufficient and independent sounds nice, it can sometimes come at a cost. That cost is loneliness. There is an increasing number of Americans who want independence. However, when they finally reach the independence they have been craving, they also get something else they didn’t bargain for—loneliness. Americans want their own things: their own country, their own government, and their freedoms. The idea of independence has been rooted in American culture since its inception and has since been influencing Americans today. This attitude comes off as selfish in a way. And that sparks the question: It is selfish to be self-reliant?
Can being selfish ever be acceptable? Anthem by Ayn Rand and the song “I Get Out” by Lauryn Hill share a similar theme relating to selfishness. “I Get Out” expresses the theme that man should be selfish, with Hill singing of reaching a new and better life strictly for her benefit . In comparison, the theme of Anthem is that one should praise man’s ego and, again, allow themselves to be selfish. Anthem focuses on standing out from the crowd and expressing individual interests for their own sake when Equality, a young man forced into a collectivist society, finally chooses to escape to an independent land.. Both Anthem and “I Get Out” possess the similar theme that man should be selfish, based on both Hill and Equality’s knowledge of better life, their repression by leaders of their society, and the strength of their quest for freedom.
Kevin R. Brown Response Paper 1 September 8, 2016 Tocqueville’s notion of “self-interest rightly understood”, is creating a statement that as long as an individual feels a certain need to attribute to their society because of self-interest, that society will be over-all healthier than a community where the main principle of charity is through morality. A society that places morality as a key component for helping others will suffer because human nature tends to be self-sacrificing or incapable of understanding the concept of moderation. Alexis de Tocqueville states, “They [United States] therefore do not deny that every man may follow his own interest, but they endeavor to prove that it is the interest of every man to be virtuous (par. 3).” Before individualism created the American Dream, American society was a cohesive blending of self-interests that took care of others because, in the end, the community would take care of that individual in their time of need.
An egoist definitely does not believe in acting selfishly, if we look at the what acting selfishly truly means we see that it does not fall under the principles of an egoist. First, selfish behavior can be thought as doing what we think will give us the most (immediate) pleasure regardless of the effects on others. An egoist would not at all be interested in acting selfishly because he believes in