Mistaken instrumentalism in Psychological Egoism and the Selfish Gene

Ewan, Glenn (2010) Mistaken instrumentalism in Psychological Egoism and the Selfish Gene. Emergent Australian Philosophers, 2010 3: e1-e12.

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Author Ewan, Glenn
Title Mistaken instrumentalism in Psychological Egoism and the Selfish Gene
Formatted title
Mistaken instrumentalism in Psychological Egoism and the Selfish Gene
Journal name Emergent Australian Philosophers
ISSN 1837-5871
Publication date 2010-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 2010
Issue 3
Start page e1
End page e12
Total pages 12
Place of publication Brisbane, Qld., Australia
Publisher Dean Goorden and Mathew Paul
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The theories of Psychological Egoism and the Selfish Gene both rely on an instrumental process that fails to take account of how a motive or a trait can be a means to more than one end. Psychological egoism ignores the lived, felt experience of benevolence that is a necessary part of the means to an end process. The theory of the selfish gene ignores the fact that even though we only evolve benevolent traits if they serve our genetic fitness, these traits nevertheless simultaneously increase the fitness of other beings when we enact them. The means-to-an-end process can occur in both directions when we are motivated by benevolence, serving both ourselves, and others, at a psychological level, and at a genetic level. This is not an affirmation of the theories of psychological altruism and biological altruism however, but a kind of mutualism that guides human beings, before culture and upbringing have their influence upon us.
Keyword Psychological Egoism
The Selfish Gene
Instrumental processes
Mutualism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Created: Fri, 04 Mar 2011, 15:36:33 EST by Mrs Gaylene Wagner on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry