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UTEP - PHIL 2306 - Class Notes - Week 6

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UTEP - PHIL 2306 - Class Notes - Week 6

School: University of Texas at El Paso
Department: Philosophy
Course: Intro to Ethics
Professor: Arruda
Term: Summer 2015
Tags: phil2306, EthicalEgoism, consequentialism, actutilitarianism, introtoethics, ethics, and philosophy
Name: Intro to Ethics: Week 6 Notes
Description: These notes cover Ethical Egoism and its arguments, Consequentialism, and Act Utilitarianism.
Uploaded: 03/02/2018
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background image     Week 6 Notes     Week 6/ Week 7 (on syllabus)                                          ​Topic ​     ​ ​Reading  1. Ethical Egoism  a. Definition  i. “A person’s sole moral duty is to act in ways that promote one’s own 
self-interest. Failure to do so is immoral.” 
• In other words, even if we are capable of being altruistic,  we shouldn’t act on it.  b. Initial argument ​against ​Ethical Egoism  1. If an ethical theory requires killing, rape, or theft, just because  such actions maximize self-interest, then that theory cannot be 
true. 
2. Ethical egoism sometimes requires such actions, just because  they sometimes do maximize self-interest.  3. Therefore, ethical egoism cannot be true.   Problems with premise 2:​ It is saying that it doesn’t matter what 
the action is, it is morally required. However, there is no 
possible scenario where those actions would benefit you. 
c. Arguments in Favor of Ethical Egoism 
The Self-Reliance Argument:  1. If everyone were to mind his own business, and just worry about his 
own needs, then everyone would be better off. 
2. We ought to do what will make everyone better off.  3. Therefore, we each ought to mind our own business and tend to our 
own needs. 
Problems with premise 1:​ It is false because there are counter 
examples such as a child drowning, someone being stranded, and 
suicide where if someone were to intervene the person in need would 
be better off.  
  1  
background image       Problems with premise 2:​ This is not something an Ethical Egoist would 
accept. They wouldn’t worry about what would make everyone better 
off.  
The Libertarian Argument  1. There are only two sources of duty: consent and reparation.  2. Therefore, if we haven’t consented to help anyone, and we haven’t 
violated anyone’s rights, then we do not have a duty to act 
altruistically.  
Definitions: ​Consent: actions that you agree to be a part of, (jury duty).                          Reparation: Helping someone after you’ve harmed them.  Problem with premise 1:​ This states that there are only 2 sources of 
duty, but we have reason to believe that is not true. Objective fact of 
the matter that creates a moral duty. 
Another Problem:​ Consenting to help someone else isn’t acting in your 
own self-interest.  
Best Argument for Ethical Egoism  1. If you are morally required to do something, then you have good 
reason to do it. 
2. If there is good reason for you to do something, then doing it must 
advance your interests. 
3. Therefore, if you are morally required to do something, then doing it 
must advance your interests.  
Problems with premise 2: ​This is false because of the counterexample 
of saving the drowning child. You saving it doesn’t advance your 
well-being (interests) either way. There is good reason to help the 
child, because it will improve its welfare.  
3 Problems for Ethical Egoism:  1. Our core moral beliefs are violated:​ This theory states that actions such as  raping, killing innocents, and lying is okay as long as it benefits you. However, 
most people are against this regardless.   
 

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School: University of Texas at El Paso
Department: Philosophy
Course: Intro to Ethics
Professor: Arruda
Term: Summer 2015
Tags: phil2306, EthicalEgoism, consequentialism, actutilitarianism, introtoethics, ethics, and philosophy
Name: Intro to Ethics: Week 6 Notes
Description: These notes cover Ethical Egoism and its arguments, Consequentialism, and Act Utilitarianism.
Uploaded: 03/02/2018
4 Pages 27 Views 21 Unlocks
  • Better Grades Guarantee
  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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