‘All people serve their own self-interest.’ . Egoism. Starter – Rate each of the following statements on the mini whiteboards between one and five, one being strongly agree… Reading – Palmer p39…bring these next lesson please. Learning Objectives To explore egoism and psychological egoism
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Epicurus (341-270BCE) was a hedonist and began the formal strand of rhetoric called egoism. Egoism is ‘that a person ought to maximise his or her self-interest.’
Epicurus thought that pleasure was an intrinsic good (worth having for its own sake) and all other goods are instrumental (something that leads to goodness).Egoism – notes
Classify the following in your opinion as intrinsically or instrumentally good or bad
1 – kindness
2 – vaccination
3 – freedom
4 – beauty
5 – murder
6 – duty
7 – punishment
8 – wealth
9 – courage
10 – diseaseExercise
The following clip shows the position of psychological egoism. VIDEO
Not and ethical doctrine, just telling us how humans work.
‘Human beings are psychologically incapable of doing anything that does not promote self-interest.’
In other words, psychologically egoism says that all actions have an ultimately selfish motive. They could be very good actions, but they are motivated by self-interest as this is how humans behave.Psychological egoism
Can you think of any examples of an act without a selfish motive? Does psychological egoism seem reasonable?
Consider the following criticism
1 – Psychological Egoism is making an empirical claim which is based on evidence. Thus it is true or false.
2 – The claim is ‘All men serve their own self-interest.’
Hold on…Psycholoigical egoism - problems
Which of the following are true and which are false empirical statements?
I have a nose
Some men have beards
All cats have wings
I have a beak
All cats have whiskers
Some men have finsEmpirical statements
Empirical statements like ‘All cats have wings’ are empirical generalisations since we have not observed all cats. Psychological egoism says that ‘All men serve their own self-interest,’ is true. This can only be true if there is evidence that there has never been an unselfish action and there never can be.
All people might be selfishly motivated, but it is possible that all are not therefore psychological egoisms central claim is refuted.Psychological egoism
Difference and scenario questions classify
Then psychological egoism explain and example, discussion and then criticism, scenarios
Ethical egoism – scholars and explain, inner contradiction. Thoughts and discussions
Plenary – if time a review of egoism for Hello magazine or underline the crucial bits of what you’ve just taken notes of.Egoism