From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 16:31:55 MST
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I feel I have something to add to this conversation to speed it to a
close. I am not commenting specifically on the previous posts, because
they have concentrated on a hedonistic or pleasure-principle
utilitarian position, which is only a philosophical starting point.
*Plenty* of people argue against those as descriptions of the way
people work, involving webs of desires, not all of which exist only
consequentially for pleasure.
Altruism in such a system, or even in a hedonistic system, can be
easily defined as the desire that other people's desires are
fulfilled. There's nothing wrong with that as a philosophical position
- - the counterargument relating to motivation is a psychological, not a
philosophical, argument. To say that one is acting altruistically
because one is motivated to act altruistically is to not say anything
Altruism still exists, still has effects, and is still interesting.
This is a hoary old topic...
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