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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 17, 1992

Wayne G. Johnson
Pages 239-264
DOI: 10.5840/jpr_1992_22

Psychological Egoism
Noch Einmal

While psychological egoism “A”, the theory that all human actions are selfish, is easily defeated, an alternative formulation, “B”, is defended: “AU deliberate human actions are either self-interested or self-referential.” While “B” is not empirically testable, neither is any alternative altruistic theory. “B” escapes criticisms leveled at “A”, including those of Joseph Butler. “B” is shown to be theoretically superior to any theory of altruism since it brings coherence to moral theory by explaining the nature of moraI motivation.

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