Henry Sidgwick was a Cambridge philosopher, psychic researcher and educational reformer, whose works in practical philosophy, especially The Methods of Ethics(1874), brought classical utilitarianism to its peak of theoretical sophistication and drew out the deep conflicts within that tradition, perhaps within the age of British imperialism itself. ), Gauthier, D. … ), 20th Century Analytic Moral Philosophy, Meta-ethics, Normative Ethics and Applied Ethics, Liberal Rights and Communitarian Theories, A Right to Die? The category of egoism consists of the method that directs the agent to pursue his own happiness. If a small loss in one's wellbeing can produce great gains for others, what is wrong with accepting that loss? Egoism 1. • Blum, Deborah (2006). Often this doctrine is called "ethical egoism", to emphasize its normative status. The theory of egoism states that an action is morally right if the decision maker freely decides in order to pursue either their desires or … Irwin, London: Dent, 1992. A.D. Lindsay, revised by T.H. That my good is mine does not explain why ultimately it alone should concern me. 1. Although it is possible to affirm psychological egoism and reject ethical egoism - to agree that by nature we are ultimately self-seeking, and to condemn such behaviour as evil - few philosophers regard this as an appealing mix of theories. Kant held (1788), against psychological egoism, that the rational recognition of moral principles can by itself motivate us and overcome self-love. Sidgwick’s views on equality, non-human animals, and future generations are discussed critically. Inconsidering ‘enlightened self-interest’ as supplying a primafacie tenable principle for the systematisati… This chapter examines Sidgwick’s views on egoism, utilitarianism, and the conflict between the two that he called ‘the dualism of practical reason’. “whereas the philosopher seeks unity of principle, and consistency of method at the risk of paradox, the unphilosophic man is apt to hold different principles at once, and to apply different methods in more or less confused combination.” ― Henry Sidgwick, The Methods Of Ethics 1 likes This action hastened the … ), Hume, D. (1751) An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, ed. Sidgwick’s view that egoism is based on the metaphysical distinction between individual persons is explained, along with his ‘objective’ consequentialism. Price, Reid, and some… The effort to examine, closely but quite neutrally,the system of Egoistic Hedonism, with which we have beenengaged in the last Book, may not improbably have producedon the reader’s mind a certain aversion to the principle andmethod examined, even though (like myself) he may find itdifficult not to admit the ‘authority’ of self-love, or the‘rationality’ of seeking one’s own individual happiness. This is usually exampled by hunger. It does not promote always doing what one wants to do either. The egoist may therefore respond to our question "Why should we not sacrifice our good for the sake of others?" ), Sidgwick, H. (1874) The Methods of Ethics, London: Macmillan; 7th edn, 1907. Act Utilitarianism: A particular action is morally good only if it produces more overall good than any alternative action. One way to defend ethical egoism is to affirm psychological egoism and then to propose that our obligations cannot outstrip our capacities; if we cannot help seeking to maximize our own well being, we should not hold ourselves to a less selfish standard. Philosophers before Sidgwick have also retroactively been identified as ethical egoists. A method of ethics is "any rational procedure by which we determine what individual human beings 'ought' – or what it is 'right' for them – to do, or seek to realize by voluntary action". The Sidgwicks believed that the work of society could help confirm religious claims, such as life after death. Personal Egoism.
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