quinta-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2011


The Self-interest Theory has long been dominant. It has been assumed for more than two millennia, that it is irrational for anyone to do what he knows will be worse for himself. Christians have assumed this since, if Christianity is true, morality and self-interest coincide. If wrongdoers know that they will go to Hell, each will know that, in acting wrongly, he is doing what will be worse for himself.

Derek Parfit (1984:130) Reasons and Persons OUP

8 comentários:

  1. Everybody acts on his/her self-interest or behalf, even if the situation may look differently. People are altruistic sometimes but in the long run they expect some kind of benefits or rewards as an outcome of their right doing.
    Am I being cynical or realistic? I don't believe in Hell, so the good I have done, must have been fostered by my desire to be loved by those I around.
    Good theme to think about.

  2. Mr. Parfit, when he writes that, is in a crusade against what he calls “The Self-Interest View of Rationality”. I find it very interesting that you should use the word “altruistic”. It is a word with so many meanings! You accept the view that altruism is usually self-interested, at least in a weak sense – I think Parfit agrees with you. Others would only use altruism to mean self-sacrifice, when you trade a greater value for a lesser one. This can never be self-interested without an excessively loose use of the concept of “self-interest”.

    By the way, I am reading Parfit’s work in order to write on time preference. So I feel like asking you: do you set less store by your future than by your present? Imagine you are sure you will be alive and well in a year time, and that you will have the opportunity of attending a Mahler concert (I know you like him ;-)). You also have the opportunity of attending a similar concert next week. Would you be indifferent between the two?

  3. I sometimes hesitate when deciding about going out. I prefer to buy tickets beforehand than just go not to lose the chance this time. But it depends on how I feel about getting ready to go out and whom with. I've already attended hundreds of concerts in my life, so most of the times, they do not add too much to my whole experience of live music, sometimes they even disappoint me, used to listening to good CDs or MEZZO programmes.
    When you are 64 ( remember the Beatles song:))), you either wish to enjoy every minute as it were the last, or you reasonably admit you feel a little blasé and nothing is really new. There's an ambivalence when you are to choose.

  4. Whenever you can’t find anyone interesting to go to Casa da Música or so, give me a call!!!!!!! Not blasée, experienced. =)

  5. It has already happened not to go for lack of company. My son loves going with me but sometimes he's abroad and my other children aren't here any more.
    Listening to 1st Movement of Mahler 5th, outstanding music which distresses and comforts you at the same time. Yes, I do love Mahler. I attended his 2nd - Ressurrection - at the Opening of Casa da Música, alone in the first row. I cried of emotion as it was one of the best moments I went through in this city of yours ( I'm from Lisbon, remember?)

  6. That's wonderful! Mahler's first is my favourite. It reminds me of my father.

    Yes! I remember!!! But really, I never say no to a good concert, so don't hesitate. And Casa da Música is great; they also have a lovely restaurant. You can please your soul after comforting your stomach!

  7. Um pormenor: já reparaste nas traduções dos posts que se fazem aqui no Firefox? São de morrer a rir....gostava de saber como é que isto se processa!

  8. Não uso firefox........ =( Deve ser palavra a palavra com um algoritmo que procure dar maior coesão frásica...

    Não costuma resultar lá muito bem!!! =P