Psychological egoism is the doctrine that the only thing anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing ultimately is. a. entirely selfish goals. b. his or her own. Psychological egoism is the thesis that we are always deep down motivated by . does not concern oneself, but it is hardly altruistic (Feinberg /, ยง9, p. Psychological egoism is a universal claim: it is a claim about all human actions; the .. Feinberg doesn’t just critique this argument for hedonistic psychological.

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It’s hard to follow these arguments.

Supplement on Feinberg’s “Psychological Egoism”

But let me put the following thought out there. Can you achieve happiness by only acting out of a desire for happiness? Well, this is rather puzzling. If one unpacks the notion of happiness to include getting satisfaction from relationships with others, getting a sense of self-worth from achievements at work,getting a feeling of support and belonging by having close relationships with family members, feeling pride from having and being a good friend, etc. Desiring happiness per se would make no sense if this is what is meant by it.

Sorry, if you mean that it’s hard to follow my arguments. I can try to explicate further if that’s the case. I apologize, I was a little tired when I wrote up the psycholgical.


Is your point that there a variety of ‘happinesses’ which are entwined in an experience such that they can’t come apart, e.

If so, it’s an interesting argument, but I feel that I can still intuitively make sense of the notion of desiring happiness alone. So I’m missing something or I’m misunderstanding the force of the conclusion. Can you help me clarify? Thursday, March 7, Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism is the position that the ultimate motive of all actions is selfish.

This is supposed to be a psychological fact of human motivations. Joel Feinbeerg presents a multitude of arguments against psychological egoistic hedonism. Something besides happiness must be the means to that end.

Psychological Egoism

This is analogous to the tennis player who only enjoys tennis when she wins. Her desire to win makes her anxious during her matches, and thus she does not play well and loses. The only way for wgoism to win is to relax and enjoy the game, win or lose. Once she is no egpism playing to win, she relaxes and thus wins.

Only by letting go of the desire to enjoy winning a game is she able to enjoy the pleasure of winning a game It may be true that happiness is all that is valuable in many of these cases, but this does not entail that the ends of our desires is always happiness, though it may often be a by-product.


Another analogy is that of friendship. One cannot truly enjoy a friendship if the end goal of engaging in the friendship is the joys of the friendship. The desire for happiness alone will often, and perhaps necessarily, alienate desiring individual from achieving the desire. The only way to achieve the desire is to no longer desire it.

I think the paradox is a successful refutation of psychological egoistic hedonism, and I hope my analogies illuminate how the paradox is cashed out in everyday examples.

This argument might propose that it is a psychological fact that everyone is motivated by a desire to avoid suffering. Further, they claim the solution to avoiding suffering is enlightenment. An interest facet of enlightenment is that to achieve it one cannot desire it, this is a very interesting parallel to the discussion of psychological egoistic evoism which deserves more consideration.

Posted by Jesse Steinberg at March 14, at 9: March 19, at Newer Psychologicall Older Post Home.