Psychological Egoism

Psychological egoism (sometimes called descriptive egoism) claims that every individual does, as a matter of fact, always pursue his or her own interests. In other words, it claims that people never act altruistically for the good of others or for an ideal. Since psychological egoism claims to state what is the case, it is a descriptive theory and so is very different from a normative theory such as ethical egoism, which purports to say how people ought to act.

Psychological egoism seems to rest on either confusions or false claims. If self-interest is interpreted in a narrow or selfish sense, then psychological egoism is simply false. There are clearly many generous people who often sacrifice their own interests, including their money and time, to help ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles