Ethical Theories: Egoistic Theories and Psychological Egoism Essay

Ethical Theories: Egoistic Theories and Psychological Egoism Essay

Length: 1857 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

What I want to do in this paper is to present the 3 different egoistic theories, explain them in brief , and then focus on psychological egoism, presenting its argument, responding to the different criticisms and see in the end if its thesis begs the question or not.
The human actions and motivations have been an issue which philosophers argued on. Several ethical theories were proposed in order to justify or explain the human actions. We can justify the human actions by claiming normativity “what one ought to do” and I can explain by claiming descriptive ethics “what one does do”. The explanatory claims are descriptive in position in which they present principles that can’t be broken like sociology and laws of science, while normative claims are justificatory in position that explains in a sense “one ought” thus generating duties. For this, three arguments for egoism were presented: The Psychological egoism, the ethical egoism or common sense morality in disguise and the rational egoism.
Ethical theories are theories that assigns fundamental role to self-interest. This fundamental role can be explanatory or justificatory. Rational egoism states that any act is rational if and only if it serves self-interest. It doesn’t say anything about moral acts, making it a non-moral theory.
Ethical egoism states that an act is good if and only if it serves self-interest. It is a normative theory holding that people ought to do what is in their self- interest
The problem with ethical egoism is that it doesn’t match our common sense morality, this can be explained by the following: Normally, people decide which moral theory is right depending on their moral intuitions and on their ethical judgments and in return,...

... middle of paper ...

...ersonal welfare.
As a conclusion, psychological egoism looks at human psychology and motivation and works in proving that all humans are egoistically motivated being against any other moral theory that includes altruistic or deontic behaviors. But this thesis has showed its weakness in self-sacrificing acts and being emasculated by answering that every action is egoistic from the perspective that every person do what he wanted to do making it trivially true. In this paper, I presented examples showing our egoism in our daily actions and shed the light on the weakness of the psychological egoism, offering a replacement of this theory called the predominant egoism.
Shaver, Robert. "Egoism.", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta , 04 Nov. 2002. 28 Mar. 2014 .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill

- All of human life is marked by a series of problems and questions that must be confronted and answered. Everyday we face basic choices, to eat the ice cream or the cake, to swim or to bike, to play soccer or basketball, to read or watch TV. Such examples are trivial, but there are much more important ones with more foreboding consequences: to go to college or not, where to go, choosing a career, a spouse, a house. Yet, there are even more serious dilemmas that must be faced, some that may have eternal consequences: to go war or not, to lie and cheat or not, to unplug a loved one from a respirator, and so on....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Ethical Theories]

Free Essays
1753 words (5 pages)

Ethical and Psychological Hedonism Essay

- ... To compare, then, in general hedonism is about valuing pleasure; depending on what kind we are talking about, it may hold different meanings entirely. Ethical hedonism is one branch which states that a person ought to be entitled to act in ways so as to achieve the greatest amount of personal pleasure (and minimize the amount of personal pain). This normative statement is in sharp contrast to the descriptive—and theoretically baseless—concept of psychological hedonism which argues that a human is always motivated by a desire to achieve personal pleasures....   [tags: ethical hedonism, psychological hedonism]

Term Papers
1388 words (4 pages)

The Philosophy Ethical Theories : Moral Skepticism And Moral Objectivism

- Morality is important in people’s daily lives. It shapes how people think and act. By acting according to some certain moral standards, people are expecting some positive results. With the right moral standards, people will act the right way, and the society will run better. True morality will build a Utopia, which people dream of. Since morality is a complex and abstract idea, people argued about moral standards everyday, and there seems to be no absolute answers. To fully understand why and how some moral standards are right while others are wrong, we need to figure out the base of moral standards....   [tags: Morality, Truth, Ethical theories]

Term Papers
1415 words (4 pages)

Essay on Ethical Dilemmas and Normative Theories

- ... In this case the company is venture-backed which means it needs to show investors that there is growth. Ralph is feeling pressure to show investors that the company is doing well and therefore putting pressure on John. John is under pressure to abide by the law, company policies, rules and principles. John has his own view of morals, beliefs and corporate ethics whether Ralph has the same view of such concepts is not an issue as both of them are bound by their duty to fulfil their roles as CFO and CEO in the company to show investors results....   [tags: foundation, business, ethical]

Term Papers
1361 words (3.9 pages)

Psychological and Ethical Egoism Essay

- Egoism is a teleological theory of ethics that sets the ultimate criterion of morality in some nonmoral value (i.e. happiness or welfare) that results from acts (Pojman 276). It is contrasted with altruism, which is the view that one's actions ought to further the interests or good of other people, ideally to the exclusion of one's own interests (Pojman 272). This essay will explain the relation between psychological egoism and ethical egoism. It will examine how someone who believes in psychological egoism explains the apparent instances of altruism....   [tags: Ethics Psychological Egoism]

Term Papers
1876 words (5.4 pages)

Ethical Principles Of Ethical Leadership Essay

- QN 1 ETHICAL LEADERSHIP Ethical leadership is hard to define according to research cited by Yukl, (2013). Ethics depends on time, culture, and laws. We can attempt to define ethical leadership by looking at the leader’s behavior, values and how he or she influences followers (Yukl, 2013). Every organization has ethical and moral guidelines stipulated through their policies, rules and regulations. A leader who is honest and trustworthy can be said as an ethical leader. But it depends on how the behavior is reflected in the organization and the employees....   [tags: Leadership, Culture, Ethical leadership, Ethics]

Term Papers
1459 words (4.2 pages)

Ethical Theories Of Ethical Egoism Essay

- Ethical Egoism is a theory of morality that states “one ought always to maximize one’s own personal good as an end” (Holmes 55). In other words, Ethical Egoism is a moral viewpoint that believes it is morally right to only do what maximizes our own good or happiness. It is important to distinguish the differences between egoism and ethical egoism. An egoist may be considered selfish in that they are only concerned with maximizing their own personal good. In contrast, an ethical egoist would not be considered selfish in that they believe that everyone should maximize their own personal good and that it should be universal, not individual (Holmes 55)....   [tags: Ethics, Morality, Consequentialism]

Term Papers
1343 words (3.8 pages)

The Egoistic Friend Essay

- <a href="">Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites What are friends for and how can a friendship be tested. By behaving altruistically, would be the most common answer and by sacrificing one's interests in favour of one's friends. Friendship implies the converse of egoism, both psychologically and ethically. But then we say that the dog is "man's best friend". After all, it is characterized by unconditional love, by unselfish behaviour, by sacrifice, when necessary....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1471 words (4.2 pages)

Two Ethical Theories Essay

- This essay is analyzing and investigation in detail two relevant ethical theories in configuration with the practice provided by the scenario to see whether it was justiciable or not. Reviewing the scenario it maybe concluded that the teacher didn’t follow procedure with is not just morally wrong but also resulted in the inadequate action by choosing to ignore the situation. This view point is supported by the deontology theory “approach reject the notion that what is ‘right’ can be determined by assessing consequences....   [tags: analysis, investigation, teachers]

Term Papers
938 words (2.7 pages)

Ethical Theories Essay

- Ethical Theories Hedonism and self-realization are ethical theories that take roots in the works of Greek philosophers and that developed many branches throughout the human history. Hedonism is based on the recognition of pleasure (or happiness) and avoidance of pain as an ultimate goal of any human being and thus establish a moral ground for one’s acting in striving to be happy. In early stages, hedonism took individualistic forms of Cyrenaic and Epicurean theories. In order to lead a good life, the Cyrenaics propose to actively seek intense momentary pleasure (of any duration) from our everyday life maintaining that pleasures of our senses and the body are preferable to pleasures derived...   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Free Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)