Lecture 19_Egoism and Altruism

Lecture 19_Egoism and Altruism - Egoism and Altruism i....

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Egoism and Altruism i. Most moral rules enjoin us to take into account the interests, feelings, or welfare of other people. Thus, one of the important assumptions of any morality is that it is possible for us to act in the interests of other people . ii. One theory, psychological egoism , denies that we can be motivated by a concern for others. This theory claims that everyone always acts to his or her own advantage and that the only reason why a person performs a morally good action is because it serves his or her own interests. Note that this is a descriptive theory. In popular language, this is called selfishness. In contrast, ethical egoism claims that even though we can act in others’ interest because we are concerned for others, we ought to always act in our own interest. Note that this is a prescriptive theory. iii. Both egoist positions are contrasted to altruism , acting for the sake of other people’s interests. Altruism can be divided into two theses: psychological altruism
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Lecture 19_Egoism and Altruism - Egoism and Altruism i....

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