Rachels Chapter 5
Psychological Egoism

Is Unselfishness Possible

The Strategy of retinterpting motives

Two Arguments in Favor of Psychological Egoism

  1. In all cases -- whether acting "selfishly or unselfishly" a person is merely doing what they most want to do -- i.e. acting from their own desires in accordance with their own interests.
  2. It's really the feeling of self-satisfaction (or non-guilt) in yourself that's the object of your desire.  (Applies the strategy of reinterpreting motives).

Clearing Away Some Confusions

  1. selfishness <> self-interest
  2. self-interest <> the pursuit of pleasure
  3. concern for one's own welfare not incompatible with concern for others

The Deepest Objection: Untestability