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PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right? PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right?

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Presentation on theme: "PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right? PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right?"— Presentation transcript:

1 PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right? PHIL 2525 Lecture 9 Is me-first all right?

2 READING QUIZ… What’s the difference between Ethical Egoism and Psychological Egoism? (2 marks) The statement that “we do what makes us feel good” supports which of the above? (1 mark) Who is Raoul Wallenberg? (2 marks)

3 READING QUIZ… 4. Ayn Rand is a proponent of which of the theories referred to in question 1? (1 mark) 5. Explain Garrett Hardin’s thesis in the lifeboat article. (3 marks) 6. According to Rachels, Ethical Egoism is ‘unacceptably arbitrary’ in the same way that __________ is ‘unacceptably arbitrary.’ (1 mark)

4 Halloween at the Campbellford Legion... Thought crime? Thought crime? Racist? Racist? Insensitive? Insensitive? Clueless? Clueless? Harmless fun? Harmless fun?

5 Prince Harry Anti-Semitic? Anti-Semitic? Disgusting? Disgusting? Insensitive? Insensitive? Bad taste? Bad taste? Plain stupid? Plain stupid?

6 Pink Shirt Day Shepherd and Price bought 50 pink shirts and brought them to school in solidarity with another youth who was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt... Shepherd and Price bought 50 pink shirts and brought them to school in solidarity with another youth who was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt... The last Wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day The last Wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day

7 Pink Shirt Day Shepherd and Price bought 50 pink shirts and brought them to school in solidarity with another youth who was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt... Shepherd and Price bought 50 pink shirts and brought them to school in solidarity with another youth who was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt... The last Wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day The last Wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day

8 Difference between Egoist and Egotist Egoist: thinking that your purpose in life is to look out for yourself – there is no obligation to look out for any one else – in fact, it would be morally wrong Egotist: thinking that you’re the best thing since sliced bread

9 “The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose.” Ayn Rand

10 "What shall we do and how shall we live? According to Plato and Tolstoy and other reliable observers, this is our most important question! We should not trust any philosophy that makes this question appear foolish." [Peter Singer, The Player and the Cards: Nihilism and Legal Theory, 94 Yale L. J. 1, 3 (1984)]

11 5.1: Is there a duty to help starving people? WHAT A QUESTION! WHAT A QUESTION!

12 More than 27,000 children die every day from preventable causes

13 964 (550) dead children for every one of us in this classroom…every day

14 Matthew 25:40 "I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink... truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it unto me." Artist: Kathe Kollwitz

15 Egoism versus Altruism Psychological approaches are descriptive Psychological approaches are descriptive Egoism: All acts are basically selfish Egoism: All acts are basically selfish Altruism: Some of our acts are ‘naturally’ altruistic Altruism: Some of our acts are ‘naturally’ altruistic Ethical approaches are prescriptive Egoism: You ought to be selfish Altruism: You ought to be altruistic

16 5.2: Is altruism possible?

17 We always do what we most want to do….p.65 We always do what we most want to do….p.65 Psychological Egoism… Psychological Egoism…

18 Psychological Egoism? We always do what makes us feel good...p. 66 Rachels question: The strategy of re- interpreting motives? The strategy of re- interpreting motives?

19 We always do what makes us feel good...p. 66 Sometimes there’s more than one motive...

20 Altruism

21

22 An aside... If every action is, indeed, selfish, what can unselfish mean? If every action is, indeed, selfish, what can unselfish mean? And if unselfish doesn’t mean anything, what can selfish mean? And if unselfish doesn’t mean anything, what can selfish mean? Why do we have those words? Why do we have those words?

23 5.3: Ethical Egoism Me first? Me only? Looking out for yourself doesn’t mean not helping others... Looking out for yourself doesn’t mean not helping others... Looking out for yourself doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want no matter what... Looking out for yourself doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want no matter what...

24 5.3: Arguments for Ethical Egoism 1. Altruism is self-defeating 1. Altruism is self-defeating 2. Ayn Rand’s argument 2. Ayn Rand’s argument 3. Ethical Egoism as compatible with ‘commonsense’ morality 3. Ethical Egoism as compatible with ‘commonsense’ morality

25 5.4: Arguments against Ethical Egoism 1. It endorses wicked actions when they promote self-interest 1. It endorses wicked actions when they promote self-interest 2. It’s logically inconsistent 2. It’s logically inconsistent 3. It is unacceptably arbitrary 3. It is unacceptably arbitrary

26 Ayn Rand essence of my philosophy (while standing on one foot)… 1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality 1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality 2. Epistemology: Reason 2. Epistemology: Reason 3. Ethics: Self-interest 3. Ethics: Self-interest 4. Politics: Capitalism 4. Politics: Capitalism

27 “The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose.” “The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose.” Ayn Rand =7ukJiBZ8_4k&feature=related =7ukJiBZ8_4k&feature=related =pMTDaVpBPR0&feature=related =pMTDaVpBPR0&feature=related

28 Ayn Rand, born in Russia, was interviewed in the March 1964 issue Ayn Rand, born in Russia, was interviewed in the March 1964 issue

29 From the Playboy interview... PLAYBOY: As one who champions the cause of enlightened self- interest, how do you feel about dedicating one's life to hedonistic self-gratification? PLAYBOY: As one who champions the cause of enlightened self- interest, how do you feel about dedicating one's life to hedonistic self-gratification? RAND: I am profoundly opposed to the philosophy of hedonism. Hedonism is the doctrine which holds that the good is whatever gives you pleasure and, therefore, pleasure is the standard of morality. Objectivism holds that the good must be defined by a rational standard of value, that pleasure is not a first cause, but only a consequence, that only the pleasure which proceeds from a rational value judgment can be regarded as moral... RAND: I am profoundly opposed to the philosophy of hedonism. Hedonism is the doctrine which holds that the good is whatever gives you pleasure and, therefore, pleasure is the standard of morality. Objectivism holds that the good must be defined by a rational standard of value, that pleasure is not a first cause, but only a consequence, that only the pleasure which proceeds from a rational value judgment can be regarded as moral...

30 From the Playboy interview... PLAYBOY: Would it be against the principles of Objectivism for anyone to sacrifice himself by stepping in front of a bullet to protect another person? PLAYBOY: Would it be against the principles of Objectivism for anyone to sacrifice himself by stepping in front of a bullet to protect another person? RAND: No. It depends on the circumstances. I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self- sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. This applies to any alleged sacrifice for those one loves. RAND: No. It depends on the circumstances. I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self- sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. This applies to any alleged sacrifice for those one loves.

31 Garrett Hardin: Lifeboat Ethics Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all. Possible solutions: Privatization: divide it up and everyone manages their part. Privatization: divide it up and everyone manages their part. Socialism: appoint someone and give them the power to manage the whole thing. Socialism: appoint someone and give them the power to manage the whole thing.

32 Next week: On to the Social Contract....what do we owe each other and why? Where does society come from? On to the Social Contract....what do we owe each other and why? Where does society come from? Sample questions for the midterm test Sample questions for the midterm test

33 Attendance Question:


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