In this regard, unlike ethical egoism, psychological egoism is descriptive of how issues are rather than what things are supposed to be. Rationale for Psychological Egoism and Large Bonuses for Bankers According to LaFave (2011) if the psychological egoism is true, then ethics are in trouble. However, this view has received a varied number of views with regard how valid it is. An area where the psychological egoism has been seen to operate is in business especially with regard to what is today called corporate social responsibility. Many professionals argue that corporate social responsibility is hypocritical as it is a way to increase market for the firm rather than being guided a true need to help the society. The banking industry especially in advanced economies such as the US has received the most criticism with bankers being seen as devils agents who only look to advance their interests while the customers and the general public suffer. Bankers have since been accused of amassing their wealth by giving themselves hefty bonuses even in times when the business is not doing exceptionally well. In other places like the UK, the government tried to limit the amount the banker can get annually (Desai, 2011). In this regard, some have come to protect bankers by saying that there is nothing wrong with them getting bulky pays and bonuses because of a number of reasons. One is that business should be capitalistic rather than social and the second is that that it is expected that people will seek to maximize their self interests and advantage. The question that has come to be asked is whether bankers can use psychological egoism to defend the reason why they take large bonuses. To answer this question comprehensively, it will be beneficial to understand a number of influential factors about psychological egoism. To begin with, it is vital to understand that psychological egoism is descriptive rather than a prescriptive theory. It does not refer to what things ought to be but refers to what things truly are. With regard to the question at hand, this has an advantage and a disadvantage. First, the fact that all philosophers agree that psychological egoism is descriptive means that it is possible to have some common ground. If psychological egoism is descriptive of human behavior, it can then mean that this is natural and this is what people will always do. In such an argument, bankers can argue that they deserve the hefty bonus because this is what everybody will be seeking in one way or the other based on the fact that everybody seeks their own good one way of the other. They could argue that getting massive bonuses is a more open way of operating business rather than pretending to act in the interest of the public while having other hidden agenda. In this regard, bankers can argue that since men naturally seek their own good, business executives who fail to get the maximum benefits will seek to maximize their self interest in other ways that may not be as open as having well documented bonuses. On the other hand, the fact that psychological egoism is descriptive can also be used against bankers by saying that it only describes how things are rather than giving a prescription of what is the ideal way for such executives to behave. Some could argue that it is necessary to act around a prescriptive th
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Psychological Egoism and Large Bonuses for Bankers Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Introduction Psychological egoism is a term used to refer to claim that people always act in their own self interest. This claim argues that people act in their self interest even when they engage in altruistic acts…
Various dilemmas exist where individuals act in a manner that has no benefit to their welfare. One example is ion financial ethics where whistle blowing usually, seems to work against the interests of the actor. Jeffrey Wigand, an employee at Brown & Williamson Tobacco R&D branch announced that the organization was increasing nicotine levels to increase the cigarette’s addictiveness.
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In this philosophical perspective people are only motivated to act from self-interest or selfish reasons. (LaFave, 2004; Shaver, 2002).
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Ethical egoism is the theory that it is right to act out of self-interest. It refers to the rightness or wrongness of our actions and concludes that if we act out of self-interest, we are doing the right thing, and if we act not out of self-interest like, for example, helping others without regard for our self-interest, we are not acting rightly. Psychological egoism is the theory that all of us perform actions always motivated by self-interest.
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