Ethical Egoism vs Utilitarianism

Ethical Egoism vs Utilitarianism

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ETHICAL EGOISM VS UTILITARIANISM According to Lawrence Hinman, ethical egoism asserts that everyone should always act in their own self-interest (105). With the reference to the word should, this statement is obviously normative, which imposes an imperative of what one ought to do. Furthermore, ethical egoism supports the theory that first and foremost the rightness or wrongness of ones action depends upon the consequences of that action (118). Therefore, ethical egoism is part of the consequentialist, or teleological (purposeful), theories. To assess the importance of consequences in ethical egoism, consider that right actions are those that promote self-interest and wrong actions are those that minimize self-interest. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy claims that ethical egoism reinforces the advancement of ones own good that is in accordance with morality. Here, the pursuit of morality is interchangeable with the pursuit of self-interest. It is maintained that there are three types of ethical egoism: personal egoism, individual ethical egoism, and universal ethical egoism (Hinman 120). The first, personal egoism, applies to individuals who attempt to act in their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else (who are insignificant to the individual); these people have no concern whatsoever about the actions of others. When personal egoists come to mind, one might think of an egotistical, selfishly inflicted individual. The second type of ethical egoism, individual ethical egoism, is more of an ethical theory than the last and claims that (1) I should act in my own self-interest, and (2) everyone should act in my self-interest; because this theory states how everyone ought to act, it proven to be a better argument than personal egoism, but it still encourages a sense of selfishness. The third type of ethical egoism, universal ethical egoism, poses a more rational case than that of the ot…

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