References and Further Reading 1. I do not expect to see anything like it again.
References and Further Reading 1. Conceptual Framework for the Debate Psychological egoism is a thesis about motivation, usually with a focus on the motivation of human intentional action.
A famous story involving Abraham Lincoln usefully illustrates this see Rachelsp. Lincoln was allegedly arguing that we are all ultimately self-interested when he suddenly stopped to save a group of piglets from drowning. His interlocutor seized the moment, attempting to point out that Lincoln is a living counter-example to his own theory; Lincoln seemed to be concerned with something other than what he took to be his own well-being.
But Lincoln reportedly replied: The story illustrates that there are many subtle moves for the defender of psychological egoism to make. So it is important to get a clear idea of the competing egoistic versus altruistic theories and of the terms of the debate between them.
The Bare Theses Egoism is often contrasted with altruism. Although the egoism-altruism debate concerns the possibility of altruism in some sense, the ordinary term "altruism" may not track the issue that is of primary interest here.
In at least one ordinary use of the term, for someone to act altruistically depends on her being motivated solely by a concern for the welfare of another, without any ulterior motive to simply benefit herself. To this extent, this ordinary notion of altruism is close to what is of philosophical interest.
But there are differences. Developing a clear and precise account of the egoism-altruism debate is more difficult than it might seem at first. To make the task easier, we may begin with quite bare and schematic definitions of the positions in the debate Mayp.
All of our ultimate desires are egoistic. Some of our ultimate desires are altruistic. Answering these and related questions will provide the requisite framework for the debate.
Altruistic Desires We can begin to add substance to our bare theses by characterizing what it is to have an altruistic versus an egoistic desire. With these points in mind, we can characterize egoistic and altruistic desires in the following way: They do claim, however, that all such altruistic desires ultimately depend on an egoistic desire that is more basic.
In other words, we have an ulterior motive when we help others—one that likely tends to fly below the radar of consciousness or introspection. Thus, we must draw a common philosophical distinction between desires that are for a means to an end and desires for an end in itself.
Desires for pleasure and the avoidance of pain are paradigmatic ultimate desires, since people often desire these as ends in themselves, not as a mere means to anything else. But the class of ultimate desires may include much more than this.
Relating Egoism and Altruism There are two important aspects to highlight regarding how psychological egoism and altruism relate to one another.
First, psychological egoism makes a stronger, universal claim that all of our ultimate desires are egoistic, while psychological altruism merely makes the weaker claim that some of our ultimate desires are altruistic. Consequently, psychological egoism is easier to refute than the opposing view.
He does not desire this as a means to some other end, such as enjoyment at the sight of such a spectacle he might, for example, secure this in his will for after his death. It would show that psychological egoism is false, since it would demonstrate that some of our ultimate desires are not egoistic.
However, it would not show that psychological altruism is true, since it does not show that some of our ultimate desires are altruistic. Likewise, suppose that psychological altruism is false because none of our ultimate desires concern the benefit of others.
If that is true, psychological egoism is not thereby true. The point is that the theses are contraries: Indeed, the only major figures in the history of philosophy to endorse the view explicitly are arguably Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy Bentham.
John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse. Get this from a library! Essays on actions and events. [Donald Davidson]. Debbe dunque uno principe non avere altro obietto né altro pensiero né prendere cosa alcuna per sua arte fuora della guerra e ordini e disciplina di essa, perché quella è sola arte che si aspetta' a chi comanda. A prince must have no other objective, no other thought, nor take up any profession but that of war, its methods and its discipline, for that is the only art expected of a ruler.
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne.
This view restricts the kind of self-interest we can ultimately desire to pleasure or the avoidance of pain. Desire Ownership One tempting argument for psychological egoism is based on what seem to be conceptual truths about intentional action. This might seem to directly support psychological egoism because it shows that we are all out to satisfy our own desires compare Hobbes.
If all actions are motivated by a desire for this, then psychological egoism is indeed established. If Mother Teresa did have an altruistic desire for the benefit of another, it is no count against her that she sought to satisfy it—that is, bring about the benefit of another.
This argument for psychological egoism, then, seems to rely on an obviously false view of self-interest as desire-satisfaction. Simplicity and Parsimony A major theoretical attraction of psychological egoism is parsimony.Philosophy of History.
Miranda O Wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in't!
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Martin Dixon-Textbook on International LawOxford University Press - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read . Including two new essays, this remarkable volume is an updated edition of Davidson's classic Essays on Actions and Events ().
A superb work on the nature of human action, it features influential discussions of numerous topics. Published in , “Essays on Actions and Events” is the second installment in a five-volume collection of Donald Davidson papers.
An edition of this particular text collection was previously released in – the current version has two small pieces not included in the original edition. Martin Dixon-Textbook on International LawOxford University Press - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free.
International law textbook.