Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)


Psychological Egoism

  • Q&A: Psychological Egoism, Take Two: 6 Jul 2014, Question 1
  • Question: Isn't everyone selfish? If you dig deep enough, everyone seems to act in their own interests. I work because that's easier than being a welfare queen. But a college student might cave to his parents about his choice of career because that's easier than standing up for himself. Even the nun who seems to sacrifice everything is doing what she enjoys most and thinks best by her own religious standards. So isn't true altruism impossible? Isn't everyone selfish?

    Tags: Altruism, Egoism, Ethics, Meta-Ethics, Psychological Egoism, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice, Subjectivism

  • Q&A: Psychological Egoism: 6 Oct 2013, Question 2
  • Question: Isn't every action selfish, ultimately? Unless coerced, people act however they deem best at that moment. Even if that action is harmful to themselves, aren't they acting selfishly, so as to satisfy their own desires? Even paragons of altruism act because they want to help people, please God, or save the environment: that's what makes them happy. So isn't true, deep-down altruism impossible?

    Tags: Altruism, Egoism, Ethics, Psychological Egoism, Self-Interest


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