September 29, 2020

ETHICAL egoism is the view that each person ought, all things considered, to do that action which is most in his over-all self-interest. Kurt Baier ar- gues against. Rational egoism (also called rational selfishness) is the principle that an action is rational if and . Baier, Kurt (). “Egoism” in A Companion to Ethics. Peter Singer (ed.), Blackwell: Oxford. Brink, D. , “Sidgwick and the Rationale for Rational Egoism,” in. Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their .. Baier, Kurt, , “Egoism” in A Companion to Ethics, Peter Singer (ed.), Blackwell: Oxford. ISBN ; Biddle, Craig, Loving Life.

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According to detractors, conflict is an inherent problem of ethical egoism, and the model seemingly does not baierr a conflict resolution system. But B and C cannot be identical to me, since they are not identical to one another they go on to live different lives.

With opposed intuitions about when special care is due, the tactic of arguing from intuitions about special care to the grounds of this care is indecisive. It might appear that it differs a great deal.

Philosophical Disquisitions: Egoism by Kurt Baier (Part 1)

Since psychological egoism seems false, it may be rational for me to make an uncompensated sacrifice for the sake of others, for this may be what, on balance, best satisfies my strong, non-self-interested preferences. Any man of self-esteem will answer: One might argue that it is the way my pain feels — its badness — and not any connection between me and the pain that gives me reason to baierr it.

Other philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes and David Gauthierhave argued that the conflicts which arise when people each pursue their own ends can be resolved for the best of each individual only if they all voluntarily forgo some of their aims—that is, one’s self-interest is often best pursued by allowing others to pursue their self-interest as well so that liberty is equal among individuals.


First, one might argue for a moral theory, as one argues for a scientific theory, by showing that it best fits the evidence. And many philosophers may have espoused rational egoism while thinking that God ensured that acting morally maximized one’s self-interest.

These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. Sidgwick and Contemporary EthicsOxford: It is even arguably foreseeable that inflating grades may never have negative consequences for anyone.

Such a view leads to the doctrine that, “if each pursues her own interest as she conceives of it, then the interest of everyone is promoted” Baier,p.

Philosophical Disquisitions: Egoism by Kurt Baier (Part 2)

It comes in two general forms: An agent may act contrary to his desires and what is in his own best interest. An action is morally right if and only if it is to the advantage of the person doing it. The obvious justification an egoist could offer for not caring about time — that one should care only about the amount of good produced — is suicidal, since that should lead one not to care about who receives the good.

True, the ethical egoist is unlikely to recommend ethical egoism to others, to blame others for violations of what ethical egoism requires, to justify herself to others on the basis of ethical egoism, or to express moral attitudes such egoisn forgiveness and resentment. Any attempt to create an imaginary vested interest, as the psychological egoist will attempt, proves futile.

Ethical egoism

Thus, ethical egoism is incompatible with ethical conflict-regulation. There are gaier lawyers and presumably no humane interaction between the prisoners and their captors. Theory of Moral Sentiments.


However, utilitarianism is held to be agent-neutral i. According to the economist, Adam Smith, when entrepreneurs are unimpeded by legal or self-imposed moral constraint to protect the good of others, they are able to promote their own good and, as a result, provide the most efficient means of promoting the good of others Baier,p.

Given this, and given the historical popularity of rational egoism, one might conclude that it must be taken egism. The rational egoist must argue that hers is a case where preferences are decisive.

Rational egoism

In many situations, others will neither have the ability to see my true motivation nor care about it. European Christian philosophy Scholasticism Thomism Renaissance humanism. Perhaps as infants we have only self-regarding desires; we come to desire other things, such as doing our duty, by learning that these other things satisfy our self-regarding desires; in time, we pursue the other things for their own sakes.

Hedonism, which identifies self-interest with pleasure, is either a preference or an objective account, according to whether what counts as pleasure is determined by one’s desires. Sober and Wilson egolsm that more reliable care would be provided by the altruistic or combination mechanisms.

Formalism Institutionalism Aesthetic response. There are several theories about the principle of the GOOD that would serve human decision making in reaching a conclusion as to what is the morally correct thing to do.

At a baieg level, some egoists may reject the possibility of fixed or absolute values that gaier acting selfishly and caught up in their own pursuits cannot see.