It shall be demonstrated that egoism is not only the natural state of man, but all human action is always definitively motivated by egoistic pursuit. I challenge altruism as impossible, and societal adaptation as dehumanizing. It is with these assertions that I ask my primary question. What, if any, rational purpose or motivator(s) exist, which could reasonably promote any rational agent to expend time or utility on other agents in favor of themselves. In observation of historic philosophical reasoning, based on writings of David Hume, Max Stirner, Henry Sidgwick. As well as through contrast of competing empirical data. One finds that the self-concerned need to act out one’s subjective personal motives which create the driving forces of what is commonly considered selfishness, are the same proponents that cause people to save children from drowning. These motivators being thinly disguised self-interest, consciously or unconsciously portray partially our natural human nature, and partially learned degrees of restraint and social aptness. Furthermore, one who intends to live cooperatively in a society consciously or otherwise, must relinquish aspects of their human nature to do so. A guise is created for this society is merely another mechanism of self-preservation, adopted and accepted by the agent for the payoff of the benefits and assurances of living within a society. I demonstrate this conclusively only leaves humanity with two decisions. One may assort themselves in socially, with the small sacrifice of identity, or risk the punishment of society by social alienation. Assuming then also, the constant distrust with knowledge that every agent acts only in self-concern.


Schiltz, Elizabeth




Applied Ethics | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Philosophy of Mind


Egoism, Psychological Egoism, Social Contract, Altruism, Hedonism

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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