Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

<-- Previous | Newer --> | Current: 983571545 Larry_Sanger at Fri, 02 Mar 2001 22:19:05 +0000.

Ethical_egoism

''Ethical egoism'' is the view that one ''ought'' to be motivated by one's own self-interest.  This can be contrasted with [[altruism]] and [[psychological egoism]].

There have been only a few ethical egoists among professional philosophers, but in the wake of [[Ayn Rand]]'s nonfiction, there have been a number of attempts to make ethical egoism widely respectable.  The consensus among professional philosophers seems to be that the view is implausible to begin with and that those who advocate it seriously (as "enlightened egoists") do so only at the expense of redefining what [[self-interest]] amounts to (including, as it is made to do, the interests of some other people or all other people at some times).

As [FriedrichNietzsche|Nietzsche]] is famous for pointing out, the ancient Greeks (such as [[Aristotle]], for whom pride was a virtue) did not associate [[morality]] with [[altruism]] in the way that post-Christian [[Western civilization]] has done.  Consequently, it is sometimes said that Greeks like Aristotle were ethical egoists.  It would be more accurate, perhaps, to say that the issue of altruism vs. egoism simply did not arise for them in the way that it does for us, or some of us.  Aristotle's view, for example, is that we have duties ourselves as well as to other people (e.g., friends) and the ''polis'' as a whole.
----
/Talk