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How does the theory of psychological egoism fit within your personal body of ethics and...

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pamela0317 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) Honors

Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:37 AM via web

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How does the theory of psychological egoism fit within your personal body of ethics and values?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:32 AM (Answer #1)

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The original question had to be edited. I would suggest that in answering this question, one has to reflect about their own sense of ethical values and judgments.  After being able to reflect on one's own core values, analyzing the implications of psychological egoism would be essential.  Any answer to this is going to be self- driven.  I am not sure it would make sense for anyone other than the person writing the answer to generate an answer to the question. 

The idea of psychological egoism that has to be addressed is if human beings do everything for self- gain.  Essentially, the question is whether human beings can, if only through their intent, transcend themselves?  Psychological egoism is rooted in the basic idea that individuals do everything for themselves and their own welfare.  In examining your own moral or ethical code, where does this notion of self fall?  In assessing your own values, are they values that keep an eye to the maintenance of the social order or are they driven by intrinsically selfish motives?  This is where the theory of psychological egoism has to be identified in the basis of your own set of moral beliefs and ethical values.  In the end, this is going to be an individualized experience and a personalized answer.  As with most ethical issues and dilemmas,  subjective reflection becomes the only acceptable path in understanding.

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