Psychological Egoism Term Paper by Jay Writtings LLC

Psychological Egoism
A critical analysis of the philosophical perspectives behind the theory of psychological egoism.
# 118138 | 1,532 words | 4 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Jan 07, 2010 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Psychology (Freud) , Philosophy (General)

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The paper explores the theory of psychological egoism as defined by Joel Feinberg and refers to Socrates' philosophy and Sigmund Freud's explanation of the ego, superego and the id. The paper looks at how Joel Feinberg attempts to refute the notion that individuals can find happiness only within fulfilling their selfish desires, but also considers the view that selfish interests are often the root motivating factors for seemingly selfless behaviors. The paper reaches the conclusion that the theory of psychological egoism can be seen as true at times, but depicting individuals as consistently seeking self-satisfaction as a means to happiness is false. According to the paper, for the most part, people are seen as acting in accordance with a higher level of morality.

From the Paper:

"The interaction between psychology and philosophy has always intrigued theorists and freethinkers. However, several philosophical viewpoints are impacted by the psychological egoism phenomenon if it is indeed true. Thus, origins of philosophy would be shaped completely different if the answer was within the self. Take Socrates for example. Here, the great philosopher's mode of philosophy can be described as, "...philosophical inquiry consisted in questioning people on the positions they asserted and working them through questions into a contradiction, thus proving to them that their original assertion was wrong" (Hooker, 1996). In short, this mechanism is generally referred to as the Socratic Method, and Socrates eventually died for his beliefs."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hooker, Richard. (1996). Greek Philosophy: Socrates.
  • Joel Feinberg. (1975). Psychological Egoism. Reason and Responsibility: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy. 3rd ed. Joel Feinberg, ed. Encino, CA: Dickenson, 1975. 501-512. 505.
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2002). Egoism.
  • Structure of Mind: Freud's Id, Ego, and Superego. (2004). Individual Differences, Personality.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Psychological Egoism (2010, January 07) Retrieved August 13, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Psychological Egoism" 07 January 2010. Web. 13 August. 2020. <>