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PHL275-sept14-1.doc

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL275H1
Professor
Tom Hurka
Semester
Fall

Description
Monday September 14 Psychological Egoism is a challenge to our everyday understanding or morality in two ways: 1)we normally think morality can tell us to aim at some ends rather than others ex. Everyone’s happiness rather than our own, but if we’re hard wired to pursue one goal then that’s impossible 2)if psychological egoism is true, then our claim to be motivated by morality or a sense of duty is a sham, if we do what people consider morally right it is only because we think that in our particular situation it will advance our personal interests. Even if we thought doing what’s wrong would advance our interests, we would do it. There are counterexamples in everyday life that show that psychological egoism isn’t true. We do things to benefit others, and often seem to be motivated just or at least partly by desire to do so ex. Giving directions on the street, helping a friend do their homework, turning in a lost wallet, self-sacrifice in 9/11, malice problem with PE-makes our motivation out to be much more complicated than it is Non-PE I want to relieve A’s pain->relieve A’s pain-> I get pleasure as a side effect (more accurate picture of how your mind works) PE-I want pleasure and I believe relieving A’s pain will give me pleasure->I want to relieve A’s pain->I relieve A’s pain to get the pleasure that was my goal (more complicated process, motivated only by a desire for our own good) -since there are more steps, there is more room for something to go wrong Another example: Non-PE-I want the leafs to win->I get pleasure when they do. PE-I want pleasure and I believe I’m the type of person who gets pleasure when the leafs win->I want the leafs to win and I get pleasure when they do The PE explanation makes psychology too complicated and gets the order of the explanation backward. I don’t want the leafs to win because it gives me pleasure, I get pl
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