the bolded sums up my argument well.
i'm not speaking practically, i'm speaking philosophically.Any way one analyzes it, I think overall to say that selfless acts do not exist is a massive leap and gets so into the realm of speculation that is causes analytical grid-lock. That makes it all just too easy to ignore. On a practical level, choices get made...and I think in many cases the evidence of selfish motivation is very flimsy/theoretical.
on a practical level, the word "selfless" doesn't literally mean that you don't derive personal gain.
i use the word "selfish" all the time (or "selfless"). it's a useful concept in human interaction. but we go into a different frame of reference when we delve into philosophy.
no matter what action someone takes, it's possible to reduce their motivation down to personal gain. even mother theresa, ghandi, etc. if we're speaking ethically, they're "selfless". but they still took the actions they thought would fulfill them.