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Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
Psychological egoism
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Psychological egoism

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  • 1. Psychological Egoism<br />Is it possible to be unselfish?<br />
  • 2. Psychological Egoism – all actions are selfish in nature<br />Altruism is a myth<br />It is not possible to act unselfishly<br />All examples of altruism have a deeper meaning eg David gives money to charity to go to heaven<br />All action is ultimately ‘self centered’<br />All actions have selfish motivations/intentions<br />Watch video – psychological egoism 2 (1min)<br />Discuss<br />
  • 3. Thomas Hobbes<br />All human behaviour is motivated by 2 impulses<br />“seek pleasure and avoid pain’<br />He gave two examples <br />1. Charity - Whoever is giving to charity is ultimately showing off their superiority<br />2. Pity – Far from being able to empathise with other people’s sufferings, Hobbes believed it was a way of reminding ourselves that the same thing could happen to us.<br />
  • 4. Epicurus<br />Go online and find out about Epicurus’ view of human behaviour – 20 minutes<br />Read info in booklet – watch 10 minutes from video<br />Brainstorm <br />
  • 5. Nietzsche<br />Go online and find out about Nietzsches view of human behaviour – 20 minutes<br />Read info in booklet – Or use the wiki<br />Notes on 1. The Genealogy of morals 2. Beyond good and evil<br />Brainstorm <br />
  • 6. Two arguments in favour of psychological egoism<br />1. All actions whether selfish or unselfish amounts to the person doing what they most want to do – Action is based on desire<br />2. Acting unselfishly produces a sense of self satisfaction in the person who does them<br />Watch video – psychological egoism 1 (1.45)<br />
  • 7. James Rachels<br />James Rachels argues against psychological egoism<br />He uses the following points to attempt to show how humans are capable of altruistic behaviour<br />
  • 8. The arguments against psychological egoism – 1. Acting against desire<br />We sometimes act against our wishes and desires – Eg World War 1 trenches<br />There are times when we act against our desires<br />We act because we ‘ought’ to <br />Eg Carrying out a promise to do something even when we don’t want to do it<br />
  • 9. 2. Helping others is what makes us unselfish – selfishness is defined by the object of our desire <br />Argument for Psychological Egoism - All actions whether selfish or unselfish amounts to the person doing what they most want to do – action is based on desire<br />However, Rachels argues …<br />Selfishness is defined by object of desire <br />If Jones wants to sacrifice going to the cinema to donate $10 to help children in the Congo that is precisely what makes him unselfish<br />Selfishness is defined by the object of a want/desire<br />If I want to help others and act on that want, then I am not selfish<br />
  • 10. 3. Helping others is precisely what makes us unselfish <br />Argument for psychological egoism - Acting unselfishly produces a sense of self satisfaction in the person who does them<br />However, Rachels argues …..<br />3. Unselfish people derive satisfaction out of helping others<br />Isn’t the unselfish person precisely the one who does derive happiness from helping others – Selfish people do not<br />If I get satisfaction from helping starving people – This just shows that I am ‘good hearted’<br />
  • 11. In short<br />Ultimately Rachel’s argues <br />People act from a great variety of motives – greed, anger, lust, love, hate etc<br />Human actions are multi-layered in different colours of grey and not just black and white<br />
  • 12. Written work – Questions <br />Outline the theory of psychological egoism – Include Hobbes and Epicurus in your answer<br />Examine James Rachel’s arguments in opposition to this theory<br />Complete for homework <br />
  • 13. Discuss – video clip – with reference to psychological egoism<br />

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