A first - gratification his own pleasure or pleasure to...

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A first, and very simple, a priori (analytic?) argument Premise: Everything I do is motivated by my desire to do that thing Conclusion: Therefore everything I do has a selfish motivation. There is a sense of ‘desire’ on which the premise here is false (we sometimes do things not because we want to, but because we feel we ought to). But there is also a wider sense of ‘desire’ in which it is more plausible: whenever we do something there is some concern that leads us to do it. We’ll investigate just how plausible this is later. So for now we’ll only concern ourselves with whether the argument is valid. (Terminology: an argument is valid iff the conclusion follows from the premises; it is sound iff it is valid and has true premises.) It requires a further premise along the lines of: To be motivated by one’s own desires is to be selfishly motivated. Butler’s response: If, because every particular affection is a man’s own, and the pleasure arising from its
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Unformatted text preview: gratification his own pleasure, or pleasure to himself, such particular affection must be called self-love; [then] according to this way of speaking, no creature whatever can possibly act but merely from self-love; and every action and every affection whatever is to be resolved up into this one principle. But then this is not the language of mankind: or if it were, we should want words to express the difference between the principle of an action, proceeding from cool consideration that it will be to my own advantage; and an action, suppose of revenge or of friendship, by which a man runs upon certain ruin, to do evil or good to another. It is manifest the principles of these actions are totally different, and so want different words to be distinguished by. Bishop Joseph Butler, Fifteen Sermons,(1726) Sermon XI In short, distinguish: Being motivated by one’s own desires. Being motivated by a desire for one’s own satisfaction....
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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