Jul
02

The problem of Collective Self-Defeat

One of the most persistent problems for ethical egoism is that it is directly collectively self-defeating. Parfit shows that prisoner’s dilemmas and the so-called tragedy of the commons represent cases in which if everyone follows ethical egoism, then the result is worse for each. Parfit suggests, however, that, even then, the self-interest theory does not…
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May
31

Self-Defeating and Self-Effacing-A Problem for Ethical Egoism?

In the first section of Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit suggests that theories of self interest are inherently indirectly self-defeating and probably self-effacing. Ethical egoism, which I hope can serve to answer the non-identity problem without invoking total utility, is a theory of self interest, and thus it is pivotal to ask whether the fact…
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Apr
16

Blocking the Move from the Non-Identity Problem: A new approach to the Repugnant Conclusion

The Repugnant Conclusion is the conclusion that for any world of moderately happy people, there is a better world with far more people living lives barely worth living. As the name suggests, most people are not comfortable embracing the repugnant conclusion. If one believes that there is a moral duty to improve the value of…
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