egoism - Egoism describes a position in which the central...

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single core concept of considering his or her own personal welfare. A number of different schools of thought react to this proposition in different ways, and slightly different forms of egoism cater to different schools of thought to get around the fallacies that they present. In a form of psychological egoism, a descriptive position, personal welfare is at the forefront of the hierarchy of needs. Contrarily, a normative form of egoism focuses more entirely on the ethical and moral ramifications of this case. In other words, it makes a deeper focus on how justifiably right the actions of an individual are rather than simply what those actions may be. Branched from that, then, are two other theories. The first of ethical egoism believes that it is morally right for an action to wholly fulfill an individual’s self interest. The second, rational egoism, claims that an action is rational if it fulfills and individual’s self interest. The lines between these different forms of egoism are blurry, but there are distinctions to be made. In addition, several logical fallacies exist in each of the different forms. Likewise, sources of different strength lie within each of the theories. Finally, it is important to emphasize the psychological basis of self-interest and to contrast it with societal constructs of greed or self-centeredness. In the philosophy of ethical egoism, an action can be considered morally right if it maximizes and individual’s self interest. Naturally, this is at odds with other moral theories that place a greater emphasis on altruism. Under the philosophy of ethical egoism, it would seem that an individual should not engage in any activity that represents cost to the individual even if it results in great gain to another. For example, why attempt
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course PSYC 101 taught by Professor Graham during the Spring '07 term at UCSD.

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egoism - Egoism describes a position in which the central...

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