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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The rational egoist must argue that hers is a case where preferences are decisive.

My welfare might consist simply in the satisfaction of self-regarding desires. The Case for Private Property Rights”. An account of the origins of our non-self-regarding desires does not show that they are really self-regarding. If, for example, a utilitarian claims that I have most reason to give to charity, since that maximizes the general happiness, I could object that giving to charity cannot be rational given my particular preferences, which are for things other than the general happiness.

Egoists also reject the insight into personal motivation that others — whether they are psychological or sociological “experts” — declare they possess, and which they may accordingly fine-tune or encourage to egoksm ends. These worries are not decisive. One might reply with de Lazari-Radek and Singer that there are other ways of arriving at the conclusion that I have reason to care about the well-being of everyone.

Ethical egoism – Wikipedia

Say a soldier throws himself on a grenade to prevent others from being killed. He argues that self-interest is the wrong sort of reason.


It is then open to the rational egoist to say that there is some other way of arriving at rational egoism.

And the historical popularity of ethical egoism, which Prichard so often notes, indicates that self-interest is not obviously irrelevant to what one ought to do in a not specifically moral sense.

This page was last edited on 5 Novemberat By region Related lists Miscellaneous.

The psychological egoist can concede that I must have desires for particular things, such as playing hockey. A fourth argument against ethical egoism is just that: Sacrificing one’s short-term self-interest to maximize one’s long-term self-interest is one form of ” rational self-interest ” which is the idea behind most philosophers’ advocacy of ethical egoism.

Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoismwhich holds that it is rational to act in one’s self-interest. I could still count as an egoist, in the sense that I have adopted the non-egoist theory on egoist grounds. Fifth, Hume asserts that we have prior motivations to self-interest; we may have, for example, a predisposition towards vanity, fame, or vengeance that transcends any benefit to the agent. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Although utilitarianism can be provided with a rational basis and reconciled with the morality of common sense, rational egoism appears to be an equally plausible doctrine regarding what we have most reason to do. Cambridge University Press, 59— Rational egoism is concerned with reasonable action. Suppose also that, looking back from the end of my life, I will have maximized my welfare by contributing now to the pension.

Parfit could reply that continuity might not suffice for special care. Rational Egoism Brink, D. There are other options. 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. That is, a commons forbidding homesteading requires regulation.


Rational egoism

It does not seem that the soldier is pursuing his perceived self-interest. Herein lies the rub – if both avoid confessing, they will serve 2 years each — a total of 4 years between them. A Modern Introduction to Ethics. If such criteria are established, such actions may be reasonable so long baire they do not result in conflicts between agents.

Let one assume that person A wants to help the poor; therefore, Egois, is acting egoistically by actually wanting to help; baer, if A ran into a burning building to save a kitten, it must be the case that A wanted or desired to save the kitten. Once this belief is dropped, it is not so clear what they would have said Shaver ch. Consequently, the ethical egoist is unfairly chastised on the basis of a straw-man argument.

Consider the following example from Kurt Baier, regarding the problem over whether it would be morally wrong for me to kill my grandfather so that he will be unable to change his will and disinherit mep. If I act as if I give no weight to others, others will not cooperate with me.

Princeton University Press, 35—44, 51— In many situations, others will neither have the ability to see my true motivation nor care about it. One might also object to Prichard-style arguments that a they are question-begging, since egoists will hardly agree that my reason for helping is something other than the benefit to me, and b given disagreement over this claim about my reason, the appropriate response is to suspend judgment about it. According to this view, egoism is a vice.