Ethical Egoist: Argument In Defense Of Cooperative Action

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Though most human actions and desires are undeniably formed in the protection or furtherance of the agent 's personal interest, to say this constitutes the entirety of human interaction would discount the altruistic capabilities of empathetic thought, and consequent action, seen in human beings. In this paper, I will directly respond to ethical egoist , both strategic and metaphysical, arguments in defense of cooperative action being rooted in self-interest. I will begin with a strategic ethical egoist account of cooperative action to underlie a majority of “I” desires in society disguised as non “I”, but will discount this theory on grounds of exceptional cases and the overreaching nature of theory in general. This will be followed by a metaphysical …show more content…
Arguments, whereby the protector of genuine moral behavior presents the inter-temporal choice of actors to delay benefit to future selfs or the altruistic defense of loved ones as proofs for the existence of non-self-interested desires, are often met by the metaphysical egoist solution of the extended idea of “self”( Brink, 152-4). When an actor desires something in the “now” that may or may not benefit himself in the future it may be difficult to say that the actor is acting in “self” interest without expanding the idea of self to involve the abstract conception of a “future self”, whereby current actions are prescribed a discounted expected value that will be given to the future self. The metaphysical egoist would respond that any action taken for this idea of a future-self is an action taken for yourself, them both being the same “self”. A metaphysical egoist would go as far as saying the existence of selfless desire towards a loved one is merely a self-interested action to an extended form of one 's self. This can be seen in Aristotle equation of friend, or loved one, to an extended self when he says “a friend is another self, and therefore, just as his own being is choice-worthy for him, the friend 's being is choice-worthy for him in the same or a similar way” (Aristotle,

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