Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):25-39 (2011)

Authors
Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Abstract
[Emerging Scholar Prize Essay for Spindel Supplement] Some philosophers and psychologists have evaluated psychological egoism against recent experimental work in social psychology. Dan Batson (1991; forthcoming), in particular, argues that empathy tends to induce genuinely altruistic motives in humans. However, some argue that there are egoistic explanations of the data that remain unscathed. I focus here on some recent criticisms based on the idea of self-other merging or "oneness," primarily leveled by Robert Cialdini and his collaborators (1997). These authors argue that the putatively altruistic subjects are acting on ultimately egoistic motives because empathic feelings for someone in distress tend to cause them to blur the distinction between themselves and the other. Employing a conceptual framework for the debate, I argue that the self-other merging explanation fails to explain the empathy-helping relationship on primarily non-empirical grounds, regardless of the empirical results Cialdini and colleagues report.
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00055.x
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References found in this work BETA

An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume & Tom L. Beauchamp - 1998 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 190 (2):230-231.

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Citations of this work BETA

Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches.John Doris & Stephen Stich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Précis of Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (e146):1-60.
Egoism.Robert Shaver - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Psychological Egoism.Joshua May - 2011 - Internet Encyclopeida of Philosophy.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

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