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Intro to Ethics Notes (Ethical Egoism)

by: Julian Torian

Intro to Ethics Notes (Ethical Egoism) PHIL 160

Marketplace > Kansas > PHIL-Philosophy > PHIL 160 > Intro to Ethics Notes Ethical Egoism
Julian Torian
GPA 3.0
Introduction to Ethics
Ben Eggleston

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About this Document

These are my interpretation of the topics discussed in class on 2-23 and 2-25.
Introduction to Ethics
Ben Eggleston
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julian Torian on Friday February 27, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 160 at Kansas taught by Ben Eggleston in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 341 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Kansas.


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Date Created: 02/27/15
PHIL 160 Notes 223225 Ethical Egoism lof2 Normative Ethics Normative Ethics is a part of ethics where we attempt to identify a principle that will say what action is right in any situation Metaethical theories such as divine command theory cultural relativism and psychological egoism are not considered as a part of normative ethics because they do not provide this sort of guidance Consequentialism vs Nonconsequentialism Consequentialist theories say that the morality of our actions is entirely determined by their consequences Consequentialist theories also called teleological theories Utilitarianism is the main example of this theory Ethical egoism is also included Nonconsequentialist theories say that the morality of our actions is not entirely determined by their consequences Ethical Egoism Ethical Egoism says that the right thing for a person to do is whatever will advance his or her interests the most 0 This is a prescriptive theory unlike psychological egoism which is a descriptive theory 0 Ethical egoism is a consequentialist theory Support for Ethical Egoism o The most common argument in support of ethical egoism is that if people look out for themselves then everything will turn out okay for everyone 0 This argument has two big issues o It does not seem best for everyone to look out for themselves sometimes its best to help out others o It rests on the idea that things turning out well for everyone is a good goal Ethical Egoism 20f2 Problematic Implications for Ethical Egoism Ethical Egoism has many implications that strike many people as incongruous with morality It also implies that if you were in charge of a company that had been engaged in illegal activity you would be permitted to detain or kill a whistle blowing employee 0 Also endorses cheating lying and breaking promises so long as these actions help you Structural Problems for Ethical Egoism Ethical Egoism also strikes many people as a bad ethical theory because it fails to resolve moral con icts Example if two people each want some good and only one of them can have it ethical egoism implies that each of them should take it Thus it does not resolve their con ict This objection is different from the one encouraging people to behave immorally This idea also works against ethical altruismthe idea that the right thing to do is what will help other people the most This objection deals with the fact that ethical egoism does not resolve moral con icts not its sel shness


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