The point is not that lower SES subjects are mistaken in their moralization of such behaviors while the urbanity of higher SES subjects represents a more rationally defensible response.
Assuming such behavior is mediated by what the organism believes and desires, we can inquire into the kinds of mental mechanisms that could have evolved. And this might seem to be supported by recent empirical research.
This seems problematic for a theory that says all of our ultimate desires are for our own well-being. He does not desire this as a means to some other end, such as enjoyment at the sight of such a spectacle he might, for example, secure this in his will for after his death. To illustrate the dialectical process we have described, we will consider a variety of topics in moral psychology.
Princeton: Princeton University Press,p. Schroeder, Timothy On the other hand, such empirical results do not necessarily show that the ultimate motivation behind such action is altruistic.
Focuses primarily on Sober and Wilson as well as Batson, arguing that psychological evidence has advanced the debate more than evolutionary arguments, though both are currently inconclusive.
The Selfish Gene.
In the low empathy condition, both hypotheses predict that levels of helping will be low. Such questions have been, and will continue to be, of central importance for philosophical ethics. Foundations[ edit ] Beginning with ancient philosophy, Epicureanism claims humans live to maximize pleasure. This point is underscored by the fact that for some of the troubling evidence, as in the Stanford Prison Study, the worry is not so much that people fail standards of virtue, but that they fail standards of minimal decency. Relating Egoism and Altruism There are two important aspects to highlight regarding how psychological egoism and altruism relate to one another. Morillo, Carolyn These are cases of ethically irrelevant influences Sec. To the most careless observer there appear to be such dispositions as benevolence and generosity; such affections as love, friendship, compassion, gratitude. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, , p. On the basis of these and other findings, Batson 95 argues that there is indeed an empathy-helping relationship; feeling empathy for a person in need increases the likelihood of helping to relieve that need. The purpose is to provide circumstances in which egoistic versus altruistic explanations of empathy-induced helping behavior make different predictions about what people will do. So, even if the premises are true, it does not follow that egoism is false. Different hypotheses then provide either egoistic or altruistic explanations of why the subjects ultimately chose to help or offer to help. Researchers have found that the more these mirror neurons fire the more human subjects report empathy.
Zalta, ed. The author touches upon the problem of egoism as a new possible subject of psychology. Batson comes to this conclusion by concentrating on a robust effect of empathy on helping behavior discovered in the s.
That, according to Slote, is what the behavioristic learning theory maintains. The difficulty is deciding which—if any—of the conflicting responses is fit to serve as a constraint on ethical theory, when both may equally be the result of more or less arbitrary cultural factors. Essentially, the need for the individual and for the individual's immediate family to live supersedes the others' need to live. While some have argued that the jury is still out, it is clear that the rising interdisciplinary dialogue is both welcome and constructive. He ultimately attempts to give a more Humean defense of altruism, as opposed to the more Kantian defenses found in Thomas Nagel, for example. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , pp. After all, psychological altruism is a pluralistic thesis that includes both egoistic and altruistic motives.
Despite its popularity, this sort of objection to psychological egoism is quite questionable.
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