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

By Jan Österberg

1. the purpose of This Essay moral Egoism, the doctrine that, approximately conversing, one may still advertise one's personal stable, has been a reside factor because the very beginnings of ethical philosophy. traditionally, it's the most generally held normative thought, and, subsequent to Utilitarianism, it's the such a lot intensely debated one. what's at stake during this debate is a primary query of ethics: 'Is there any cause, other than self-interest, for contemplating the pursuits of alternative people?' the moral egoist solutions No to this question, hence rejecting the bought belief of morality. is moral Egoism a suitable place? there are various kinds of moral Egoism, and every will be interpreted in different alternative ways. So the appropriate query is quite, 'Is there a suitable model of moral it's the major target of this essay to reply to this question. This Egoism?' signifies that i'll be faced with many different debatable questions, for instance, 'What is an ethical principle?', 'Is price target 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 similar to those. (I will express that during a few of these situations there's actually no such dependence. ) it's, after all, very unlikely to advert­ equately speak about a lot of these questions in the compass of my essay.

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Additional info for Self and Others: A Study of Ethical Egoism

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Given what they believe the relevant facts to beprovided only that their beliefs are correct. This means, then, that the KINDS OF ETHICAL EGOISM 43 principles to be discussed below should be interpreted as objective principles. For if an agent subjectively ought to do an action if and only if he correctly thinks the relevant facts to be f" f2' ... , fn' then he objectively ought to do the action if and only if the relevant facts actually are f" f2' ... , fn. (This is true, of course, only if the agent's beliefs themselves are not facts that are normatively relevant for what he objectively ought to do.

If he is poor. he tends to regard the polis as a source of benefits. .. If the citizen was rich, he was more engrossed in his own affairs; (The Greeks, p. )36 32 SELF AND OTHERS It was in Greece of that time, we have seen, that Ethical Egoism makes its first appearance. This, I believe, is no coincidence. Ethical Egoism is intimately linked to the individualistic mode of life, in the sense that it embodies the outlook fostered by the latter. In modern Western society, the transition to a commercial and industrial society, and to an individualistic mode of life, has been much more complete.

All of the principles (1)-(4) are comparative principles. The following egoistic principle, however, is non-comparative: (5) Any person ought always to act so as to avoid being unhappy. According to modern versions of Ethical Egoism, what the agent ought to realize are things such as his own happiness, and what he ought to avoid are things such as his own unhappiness. It seems gratuitous to claim that such things are to be realized (avoided) without also claiming that more rather than less (less rather than more) of them is to be realized (avoided), whenever possible.

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