First Essay - The Abandoned Ethics of Ethical Egoism Quila...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Abandoned Ethics of Ethical Egoism Quila Toews 997556201 PHL275 - H1F Professor Bialystok TA: Benjamin Wald October 19, 2011
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
In Brian Medlin’s Ultimate Principles and Ethical Egoism , he studies the theory of ethical egoism; the idea that one should look after their own self-interests and disregard the self- interests of others. Arguments arise regarding whether ethical egoism can actually be deemed an ethical principle, and whether this can then be seen as a universal principle of conventional morality. In this paper I will begin by defining the relationship between Medlin’s view of arbitrary universal principles and objectivism, universal and individual egoism and hypothetical and categorical egoism. In the formation of an ultimate principle for human moral conduct, Medlin claims that such principles are to be arbitrary, universal and categorical. I will conclude that in his argument, Medlin uses the distinctions between these requisites and their antitheses to refute ethical egoism. Medlin first makes the distinction between ultimate ethical principles which are arbitrary, and those which are based on an objectivist view of moral truths. Medlin assumes at the beginning of his paper that most accomplished philosophers are convinced that ultimate ethical principles are arbitrary (Medlin, 111). What this means is that we cannot deduce theories of morality based on statements of fact about the world or empirical systems. Essentially, Medlin assumes that an ethical principle which can correctly guide humankind in their actions is one which comes from thin air (115). However, there are some who disregard the naturalistic fallacy and still maintain that an ought can be derived from an is. Also, there are some philosophers who may be anti-objectivists alongside Medlin, but do not declare that these arbitrary claims must be baldly declared or a-rational. This assumption aside, I will briefly discuss the contrasting theory of objectivism. This viewpoint contends that moral or ethical statements, such as a theory of conventional morality, are propositions about moral facts. An objectivist, or moral realist 2
Background image of page 2
believes that a moral claim just reports facts, and the validity of the facts are sufficient for the validity of that moral claim. Although Medlin makes the assumption that ethical principles should be arbitrary and not based on theories of moral realism, he uses this distinction to formulate his argument against ethical egoism. Ultimately, believing in objectivism denies the layman the ability to properly do away with egoism as an ethical theory. He believes that people strictly adhere to moral realism because they do not wish to accept the idea that everyone is always right in their principles, attitudes and behaviours, or that theories such as relativism are correct (111). People wish to avoid this theory because it is not absolute, and seems to ground
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

First Essay - The Abandoned Ethics of Ethical Egoism Quila...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online