Podcast #263: Explaining Egoistic Benevolence and More

 Posted by on 23 December 2013 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Dec 232013

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on explaining egoistic benevolence, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 22 December 2013

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Podcast Segments: 22 December 2013

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.


My News of the Week: I’ve been preparing for Christmas, SnowCon Tahoe, and SnowCon!

Question 1: Explaining Egoistic Benevolence

Question: How can we better explain how helping others can be egoistic? In your October 7, 2013 radio show, you observed that people often don’t understand how acting kindly and generously towards friends is self-interested. Instead, they think that being benevolent toward anyone is “other-regarding” and hence, altruistic. How can we egoists untangle this seeming conflict for people?

My Answer, In Brief: Egoists must do a better job of explaining that egoism — properly understood — is not manipulative, mercenary, predatory, or criminal. To see that, people need to understand egoism versus altruism in big-picture terms, as well as show how and why relationships with others can and should be win-wins.

Listen or Download:


To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Is there a limit to compartmentalization?
  • Is it morally okay to lie at birthdays and Christmas for the sake of a surprise?
  • Do those who abstain from voting still have the right to criticize the current administration?
  • What kind of countermeasures can be taken against the hijacking of science – as seen with global warming – in the future?
  • How can a person become more optimistic that rational ideas will be the norm of the future?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 56:54
  • Duration: 11:36
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.


Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:08:29

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Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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