The Ethical Egoism : Sheila Capers Essay

1563 Words Jun 21st, 2015 7 Pages
Ethical Egoism
Sheila Capers
Saint Leo University

Authors Note: All questions and concerns on this paper can be addressed to Sheila Capers, Saint Leo University, Criminal Justice, Savannah, GA. Email:

Utilitarianism is not accepted without argument in the philosophical community, but it is taken seriously and treated with respect. No one dismisses it out of hand, the do not mock it and belittle its ideology. They allow its representation. It is articulated, developed, and defended in the areas of philosophical debate. Ethical egoism, though a long standing opponent for utilitarianism, is not so lucky. Philosophers claim to negate its value with arguments which, if it is accepted that they refute Egoism, would also refute utilitarianism. They claim the theory to be unprovable and yet some of the most respected utilitarian minds have said that no normative ethical theory can actually be proven. That is to include utilitarianism. “Critics of ethical egoism seldom discuss the various theoretical moves that utilitarians are routinely allowed to make, such as (1) fighting the facts, (2) transforming the theory from “act utilitarianism” to “rule utilitarianism,” and (3) biting the bullet” (Burgess-Jackson, 2012, p. 529).
Keywords Ethical egoism, Utilitarianism, Normative ethical theory, Argumentation, Criticism

Ethical Egoism is the haunting specter of moral philosophy. It is not a popular dogma; many of…

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