Mother Forkin' Morals with Dr. Todd May – Part 3: Psychological Egoism – The Good Place (Exclusive)

In the third installment of Mother Forkin’ Morals, resident philosophy advisor Dr. Todd May talks about Eleanor’s (Kristen Bell) roots as a psychological egoist and how her philosophy has developed over the course of the show.
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NBC’s The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop, Chidi Anagonye, Tahani Al-Jamil, and Jason Mendoza as they seek redemption in the afterlife, aided by Good Place Architect, Michael, and a human-esque repository for all of the knowledge in the universe, Janet.

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From creator Michael Schur (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Master of None”) comes a unique comedy about what makes a good person. The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell, “House of Lies,” “Veronica Mars”), an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife, and thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place (which is definitely where she belongs). While hiding in plain sight from Good Place Architect Michael (Ted Danson – “Cheers,” “CSI” – in an Emmy Award-nominated performance), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and earn her spot.

Mother Forkin’ Morals with Dr. Todd May – Part 3: Psychological Egoism – The Good Place (Exclusive)

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Some Toughts (23)

  1. Avatar
    added on 30 Dec, 2018

    Tempted to downvote due to the lack of the Oxford comma.

  2. Avatar
    added on 31 Dec, 2018

    And I just submitted an english paper on psychological egoism… this would have saved me quite a bit of research for understanding the theory!

  3. Avatar
    added on 31 Dec, 2018

    The key distinction that jumps out to me is that actions based on self-interest and actions based on sympathy come from two different parts of the brain. The self-interested motivation comes from the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for complex planning, decision making, and moderating social behavior. The sympathy/empathy motivation comes from the cerebral cortex, more specifically the supramarginal gyrus. This is the part of your brain that recognizes a lack of empathy and autocorrects. Not surprisingly, people with sociopathic disorders often have a defect in this area of the brain. Yet they are still perfectly capable of making rational self-interest based decisions. In short, humans act for a number of different reasons and they cannot be reduced so easily to something such as "psychological egoism".

  4. Avatar
    added on 1 Jan, 2019

    My favourite TV show💜

  5. Avatar
    added on 2 Jan, 2019

    Is Michael named Michael because the producer's name is Michael?

  6. Avatar
    added on 2 Jan, 2019

    I can't believe I am actually learning something from a sitcom. I love it!

  7. Avatar
    added on 4 Jan, 2019

    If you could release more of these before the end of January that would be great 😂😂 Rly fun way for a better understanding for mocks 👌

  8. Avatar
    added on 4 Jan, 2019

    Man….You're good Todd…you're good..

  9. Avatar
    added on 4 Jan, 2019

    Hmm. I would have liked him to go into this one more. Because I feel like egoism is one of those falsifiable things.

  10. Avatar
    added on 11 Jan, 2019

    Can you guys make a book on all the ethics you made in the series. Episode by episode

  11. Avatar
    added on 14 Jan, 2019

    I felt a disturbing absence of Max Stirner in The Good Place, just sayin'…

  12. Avatar
    added on 14 Jan, 2019

    This expostition sounds more like rational egoism. Psychological egoism, I believe, is something more subconscious. The parent example makes them sound too calculistic. I think psychological egoist parents would raise their kids driven not necessarily only by concrete advantages, but also by a sense of subjective fulfillment, which is egoistic as well, but more subtle.

  13. Avatar
    added on 16 Jan, 2019

    The first few seconds are my favourite part of the video.

  14. Avatar
    added on 19 Feb, 2019

    I'm psycological egoistic

  15. Avatar
    added on 24 Feb, 2019

    please continue with these explanations!!!

  16. Avatar
    added on 28 Feb, 2019

    Everyone hates philosophers

  17. Avatar
    added on 26 Jul, 2019

    I have exam on ethics later so im watchig this lmao

  18. Avatar
    added on 6 Oct, 2019

    Interesting! Reminds me of the Danish proverb “Tyv tro hver mand stjæler”. (A thief thinks every man steals)

  19. Avatar
    added on 23 Oct, 2019

    this is why everybody loves moral philosophy professors

  20. Avatar
    added on 15 Jan, 2020

    A sitcom is making you watch a lecture on philosophy… Forking shirtballs lol

  21. Avatar
    added on 22 Jan, 2020

    so republicans

  22. Avatar
    added on 11 Jul, 2020

    If you liked this please watch the Bojack Horseman episode "The view from Halfway down" were they talk about how good doing good is if it makes you feel good

  23. Avatar
    added on 8 Aug, 2020

    This is a start, but the key is this, people who have the best combination of self interest and nurturing pass on their grnes to their off spring, while society that function the most efficiently allow gor the greatest growth of population, through reproduction and immigration. An important aspect of this is kin selection, whereby those with the right amount of sltruidm allow their kin to survive, and thus propagate, spreading genes of the common ancestors that allowed for altruism. Ie. When a person dies to save their brother's life, 25% of there genes pass on to their nephew, this allows for what Richard Dawkins called the 'selfish gene' to spread altruism. Another explanation is group selection. Konrad Lorenz and Niko Timbergen argued that groups can act in ways that lead to the secess of the group leading to survival of the species and lower groups. While this does not explain all animal evolution as well as kin selection, it may have merit in human society, and higher mammals. As E.O. Wilson argues, a group of altruistic individuals beats a group of selfush individuals. The final aspect then is selfishness and altruism binary or is that a false dilemma. Economics is based on the idea of mutually beneficial exchange, this can then allow for the kind of multi level evolution that E.O. Wison argued in favor of. This means that altruism would exist as rb(k) +b(e) < c or benefit to kin plus benefit to group is greater than cost. Getting back to economics, if knowledge is dispersed then a society where all levels can act in ways that maximize utility for all by individuals and firms specializing in areas of comparative advantage, will create a society that is stronger than one with a monolithic central authority that leads yo subservience to murderous tyrants (Hitler, Mao), or a lack of rule of law that leads to self untrest at the cost of co-operation. Even democracy can be diverted by aelf interested groups, at the exprnse of the public good, look up Public Choice Economics.

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