Psychological egoism is the view that we are always motivated by self-interest, even in seeming acts of altruism.

Psychological egoism should be contrasted well with ethical egoism, which is the view that we always ought to be motivated by self-interest.

Max Stirner is known for holding this view of the human psyche. (He was also a proponent of ethical egoism.)

Because psychological hedonism makes a very strong claim (we are always motivated by self-interest), it appears to be quite easy to refute empirically.

See also: psychological hedonism

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