Ethical Egoism Analysis

The objective of this paper is to analyze the theory of ethical egoism beginning with an introduction to ethical egoism is, its principle of conduct, and an explanation how it differs from psychological egoism. Following will be a discussion of how the arbitrary principle of certain beliefs is the same for ethical egotism which subsequently conduces the arbitrariness of the theory. Lastly this paper will explain why it is unsuitable as a moral theory due to its groundlessness and failure to meet the minimum conception of morality.
Typically most would say that people have a duty to others as well as themselves. However for egoists this is not the case, for them the interests of others are unimportant and irrelevant. This application of self-interest
…show more content…
However it is agreed upon on the existence and need for morals, thus the call for a minimum conception of morality. Every theory must have this minimum in order to be considered a true moral theory. In essence, it must “guide one’s conduct by reason while giving equal weight to the interests of each individual who will be affected by what one does” (Rachels p.14). This poses a problem for ethical egoism as a moral theory since ethical egoism does not meet either of the requirements. Ethical egoism is a mistaken theory in that it leads to logical contradictions (Rachels p.87). If one were to protect one’s interest that would require one to prevent another from carrying out their duty to their self, it would be both right and wrong to do so. However that is not logical and self-contradictory, thus not would not be basing conduct on reason. To reiterate, the theory of ethical egoism states that one should put his or her own needs before others, this fails the second part of the minimum conception of morality. Furthermore in advocating that one treat others in differently when there are no factual differences is unjustifiable and makes this an arbitrary doctrine. Since there is no relevant factual difference between oneself and others, thus no real logic or reason, then the needs of others are equally important, which goes against the main principle of conduct for ethical egoism. Yet still the theory would not see the need to regard other individuals who may be affected by one’s actions, which again fails the minimum
Get Access