James Rachels: “A Critique of Ethical Egoism”. Why do we allow people to starve to death when we could save them? Two kinds of explanation: 1. psychological. Self-Driving Cars in Dilemmatic Situations: An Approach Based on the Theory of Justification in Criminal ó Coca-Vila – – Criminal Law and. Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their In the words of James Rachels, “Ethical egoism endorses selfishness, but it doesn’t endorse foolishness.” Ethical egoism is often used as the.

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Journal of Business Ethics. Psychological Egoism and Its Critics. In the words of James Rachels”Ethical egoism It seems to be a sad outlook on our mindsets. Rachels quotes Alexander Pope in support of this: Either way, jamea, the things we do all have some underlying benefit for ourselves, but it is not a good thing to look at the human race as people only trying to egosm things for their own benefit.

Ethical egoism – Wikipedia

It is a fair claim, considering deep down everything we do, even the most selfless things, are deep down pleasing for us in some way. It has been argued that extreme ethical egoism is self-defeating. Philosopher James Rachelsin an essay that takes as its title the theory’s name, outlines the three arguments most commonly touted in its favor: In Judaism, giving to the poor is an obligation. Views Read Edit View history. We do certainly need knowledge about a thing in order to somehow enumerate or compare it with another thing.

Rachels Psychological and Ethical Egoism

Specifically, are there other ways to respond to the ethical egoist who tries to argue against premise 2? Larry, Great points raised! For someone to be a real ethical egoist, they would have to have no compassion or sympathy for anyone else.


Eine Theorie der Gesellschaft Envy. Rachel Sirotkin September 19, at 9: This entry was posted in Meta-Ethics.

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There are very people who can be this way. Bruce Russell – – Philosophical Studies 42 1: Morality and Rational Self-Interest.

The same reasoning applies to the previous two bullets, which use self-interest as a means to the end of beneficence, rather than for its own purposes, as the theory would dictate. Specifically, I saw you raising some questions about premise 1: A Theory of Social Behaviour, 1st English ed. Philosophers before Sidgwick have also retroactively been identified as ethical egoists. The question you now raise is completely relevant and should be investigated. Destroyers of the Modern World,” Philosophy: Perhaps the egoist could argue then that we can in fact make these evaluative claims, and then the question becomes at what point can you no longer make a claim about another, do you need complete knowledge of their life?

One ancient example is the philosophy of Yang Zhu 4th century BCYangismwho views wei woor “everything for myself”, as the only virtue necessary for self-cultivation. It has been argued that ethical egoism can lend itself to individualist anarchism such as that of Benjamin Tuckeror the combined anarcho-communism and egoism of Emma Goldmanboth of whom were proponents of many egoist ideas put forward by Max Stirner. Ethical egoism was introduced by the philosopher Henry Sidgwick in his book The Methods of Ethicswritten in Archived from the original on December 2, Maybe this is too hypothetical, but I like it, and I think this is what Rachels is after at the end of the day.


An individual ethical egoist would hold that all people should do whatever benefits “my” the individual self-interest; a personal ethical egoist would hold that he or she should act in his or her self-interest, but would make no claims about what anyone else ought to do; a universal ethical egoist would argue that everyone should act in ways that are in their self-interest. However, the closing argument is taken to be true without any consideration for a refutation.

While the ethical egoist is claiming self-supremacy from their own subjective experience—in an irrational manner—the only way to make an evaluative claim is from some type of veil of objectivity.

Metaethical Problems for Ethical Egoism, Reconsidered. Ethical and Epistemic Egoism and the Ideal of Autonomy. It involves the same underlying necessary components: So, the claim to self-supremacy is anchored in an intuition and a vaguely defined argument of the following sort: Ethical egoism contrasts with ethical altruismwhich holds that moral agents have an obligation to help others. No keywords specified fix it. Recent trends to greater appreciation of egoism within anarchism tend to come from less classical directions such as post-left anarchy or Situationism e.

The point that I am trying to make is that even if actions, such as the Jewish obligation to be charitable, have unselfish motivation, they can end up having egoistic results. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche suggested that egoistic or “life-affirming” behavior stimulates jealousy or ” ressentiment ” in others, and that this is the psychological motive for the altruism in Christianity.