Butler's Argument against Psychological Hedonism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):211-221 (1992)
It is widely thought among philosophers that Joseph Butler's criticism of psychological egoism in his Sermons is, in the words of A.E. Duncan-Jones, 'the classic refutation of it.' Indeed, no less a philosopher than David Hume restated and put forth Butler's central argument against hedonistic egoism - without due credit - as part of his own critique. Yet recent commentators have begun to question Butler's arguments, albeit usually with sympathy and in the hope of saving what they take to be his insights. I propose to focus on Butler's main objection to hedonistic psychological egoism, to show how and why it fails to refute plausible forms of the thesis, and briefly to indicate why philosophical attempts to disprove this theory of motivation are misguided.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40231779
 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
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kai Nielsen (1973). A Short Way With Psychological Egoism. Journal of Social Philosophy 4 (2):15-16.
Mark Mercer (1998). Psychological Egoism and Its Critics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):557-576.
David Phillips (2000). Butler and the Nature of Self-Interest. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):421-438.
Wayne G. Johnson (1992). Psychological Egoism. Journal of Philosophical Research 17:239-264.
Paul Russell (2004). Butler's "Future State" and Hume's "Guide of Life". Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4):425-448.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

39 ( #84,354 of 1,725,611 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,736 of 1,725,611 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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