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Psychological hedonism is the view that all human action is ultimately motivated by desires for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Since its defenders generally assume that agents are motivated only by the prospect of their own pleasures and pains, it is a form of psychological egoism. Psychological egoism is a broader notion, however, since one can hold that human actions are exclusively self-interested without insisting that self-interest always reduces to matters of pleasure and pain. As an empirical thesis about human motivation, psychological hedonism is logically distinct from claims about the value of desires. It is thus distinct from axiological or normative hedonism, the view that only pleasure has intrinsic value, and from ethical hedonism, the view that pleasure-producing actions are morally right. Psychological ...

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