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Week 14 Journal

Week 14 Journal - charitable of cases are solely for the...

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R. Harris Googe Phil 089 Wolf November 18, 2008 Week 14 Journal While I found it difficult to understand Midgley’s view on the motivation behind wicked acts, I did agree largely on the aspects that I could make out. In her conclusion, she lists the pros and cons of Freud’s death-wish idea. I, too, disagree with Freud’s belief in a desire for death. Too much of human action aims to preserve life. Maybe it’s my optimistic, flower-child nature that gives too much credit to the ability of a person to acknowledge the needs of others that leads me to disagree with Freud. I don’t believe every action has an individualistic motive behind it. Just as Midgley proves with the example of people protecting others in the interest of evolution, I think it’s beyond self-interest that we act to benefit others. There are days, however, when I become cynical and believe that even the most
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Unformatted text preview: charitable of cases are solely for the benefit of the one committing the act of kindness. Even those who join the Peace Corps can be accused of doing so for the benefit of feeling “good” about oneself. Even so, there are the undeniable cases where a person sacrifices his own life or well-being to protect a loved one. Such cases are a primary argument against Freud’s belief in the individual’s motivation. Approaching motivation from a darker side, desire for self-destruction can be replaced instead by a desire to destroy others. This is not, as Freud argues, an outward result of self-destructive tendencies, but instead as an awareness of others. This sense of otherness is largely neglected by Freud and thus he argues that selfish behavior is the only motivation behind any action, even destructive ones....
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