Nov
05

Why Should We Believe that Egoism is Self-Effacing?

Collective action dilemmas have always presented a problem for theories of rationality, but they seem to present a much greater problem for ethical egoism. The existence of collective action dilemmas shows that the actions which self-interest theories of rationality claim are justified lead to disastrous consequences when generalized, but the problem is worse for ethical…
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Aug
28

Defining Ethical Egoism

In order to evaluate the plausibility of ethical egoism it is necessary to define it, the more so as one major objection to ethical egoism is that it cannot be coherently defined. One intuitive definition is that (i) an agent, A, ought to conclude that he should act to promote A’s interest and (ii) A…
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Jul
31

An Objection to Cowen’s solution from Bounding

In “Resolving the Repugnant Conclusion,” Tyler Cowen suggests that bounding offers a way to avoid the repugnant conclusion. Bounding refers to setting a limit on a certain type of value. Cowen suggests that bounding the amount of value which lives barely worth living contribute to the value of the world blocks the repugnant conclusion in…
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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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