Describe Ethical Egoism

Instructions

Describe Ethical Egoism. What are some arguments in its favor and what are some arguments against it? How does it differ from Psychological Egoism? What is the key difference between the two?

Examples of altruistic behavior are all around us. After reading the text and watching the videos this week do you think that the motives behind these acts are indeed altruistic or are they based on some type of self-interest? Why or why not?

Ayn Rand has a controversial but seemingly appealing argument for morality. Rand argues against the ‘ethics of altruism’. What does she mean when she argues that altruism leads to a denial of the individual and “his first concern is not how to live his life, but how to sacrifice it”?

Why does she place importance on the individual? What does she say about self-interest? Do you agree or disagree with her understanding of self-interest?

Finally, do you view humans and society as a whole as following more of an ‘ethics of altruism’ or following more of a ‘Randian’ viewpoint? Can you think of any examples to support your viewpoint?

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