On the relation between psychological and ethical egoism

Philosophical Studies 42 (1):91-99 (1982)
Abstract
Recently Terrance McConnell has attempted to show that not only does psychological egoism lend no support to ethical egoism but is even incompatible with it. 1 McConneU's attempt has been vitiated by Paul Simpson's critique of the version of psychological egoism that McConnell offered) In this discussion I will consider McConnell's and Simpson's arguments and then offer a version of psychological egoism that avoids Simpson's objections. After showing that one version of ethical egoism is incompatible with that version of psychological egoism, I will consider other versions of ethical egoism in an attempt to find the best version of that moral doctrine. It will turn out that even the best version of ethical egoism is incompatible with the version of psychological egoism that avoids Simpson's criticisms. However, another version of psychological egoism will be offered that is compatible with all versions of ethical egoism and that is also not open to Simpson's objections. An argument will be offered, and then criticized, that seems to lend support to ethical egoism and that rests, in part, on this other version of psychological egoism.
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