A Defense of Psychological Egoism

In Naomi Reshotko (ed.), Desire, Identity and Existence. Academic Printing and Publishing (2003)
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The purpose of this paper is to argue for psychological egoism, i.e., the view that the ultimate motivation for all human action is the agent’s self-interest. Two principal opponents to psychological egoism are considered. These two views are shown to make human action inexplicable. Since the reason for putting forward these views is to explain human action, these views fail. If psychological egoism is the best explanation of human action, then humans will not differ as regards their motivations for their actions. However, humans will differ as regards their knowledge of what is in fact in their self-interest.

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Scott Berman
Saint Louis University


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