Self and Others: A Study of Ethical Egoism by Jan Österberg

By Jan Österberg

1. the purpose of This Essay moral Egoism, the doctrine that, approximately conversing, one should still advertise one's personal reliable, has been a reside factor because the very beginnings of ethical philosophy. traditionally, it's the most generally held normative conception, and, subsequent to Utilitarianism, it's the so much intensely debated one. what's at stake during this debate is a basic query of ethics: 'Is there any cause, other than self-interest, for contemplating the pursuits of different people?' the moral egoist solutions No to this question, hence rejecting the bought belief of morality. is moral Egoism an appropriate place? there are lots of varieties of moral Egoism, and every could be interpreted in numerous other ways. So the proper query is very, 'Is there an appropriate model of moral it's the major goal of this essay to reply to this query. This Egoism?' implies that i'll be faced with many different debatable questions, for instance, 'What is an ethical principle?', 'Is price aim or subjec­ tive?', 'What is the character of the self?' For the acceptability of such a lot ver­ sions of moral Egoism, it's been alleged, depends upon what solutions are given to questions reminiscent of those. (I will convey that during a few of these instances there's in truth no such dependence. ) it's, in fact, very unlikely to advert­ equately talk about a majority of these questions in the compass of my essay.

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For he will be involved in maintaining not only that it is a duty to do whatever is for our advantage, but that this is our only duty. And the fatal objection to maintaining this is simply that no one actually thinks it. (,Duty and Interest', p. ) In the late fifties, the picture changed. Ethical Egoism once more attracted attention and became a matter of intense dispute. A. M. Hare's account of universalizability, that the ethical egoist cannot universalize the principle that guides his actions.

On the other hand, particular affections tend toward particular external things; these are their objects; having these are their endin this consists their gratification, no matter whether it be, or be not, upon the whole, our interest or happiness. Happiness or satisfaction consists only in the enjoyment of those objects which are by nature suited to our several particular appetites, passions, and affections. ) In this context Butler points out that the relation of Benevolence to Self-Love is completely on a par with that of any particular affection to Self-Love.

2) The good of anyone individual is of no more importance, from the point of view of the Universe, than the good of any other. (3) As a rational being I am bound to aim at good generally,-so far as it is attainable by my efforts,-not merely at a particular part of it. , p. ) Having argued that happiness is what is intrinsically good and un- 28 SELF AND OTHERS happiness what is intrinsically bad, Sidgwick derives a hedonistic (or eudaimonistic) version of Ethical Egoism by means of (1) and (3) and a hedonistic version of Utilitarianism by means of (2) and (3).

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