Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism

In Katie Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Press (2012)
Abstract
In this paper, I reframe the long-standing controversy between ‘psychological egoism’, which argues that human beings never perform altruistic actions, and the opposing thesis of ‘psychological altruism’, which claims that human beings are, at least sometimes, capable of acting in an altruistic fashion. After a brief sketch of the controversy, I begin by presenting some representative arguments in favour of psychological altruism before showing that they can all be called into question by appealing to the idea of an unconscious self-directed motive. I will then point out that this argumentative strategy not only debunks the reasons for favouring psychological altruism, but also those for favouring psychological egoism; hence it is no use in settling the dispute between the two views. In the second part of the paper, I will try to break this deadlock by reframing the whole controversy, shifting it away from the concept of motive, towards the broader notion of motivation. As it turns out, this shift enables the debate to centre on altruistic emotions and their motivational power, thereby allowing evolutionary arguments to enter the debate and tilt the balance in favour of psychological altruism.
Keywords motivation  psychological altruism  emotion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,788
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Michael Slote (2013). Egoism and Emotion. Philosophia 41 (2):313-335.
Wayne G. Johnson (1992). Psychological Egoism. Journal of Philosophical Research 17:239-264.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-12-16

Total downloads

25 ( #68,165 of 1,099,035 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #114,795 of 1,099,035 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.