Ethical Egoism Essay

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The concept of ethical egoism was first introduced by Henry Sidgwick in his The Methods of Ethics. Ethical egoism is a normative theory that focuses only on maximizing individual pleasure. All people should act for their own self-interest. Ethical egoism can be divided is other categories, including psychological, universal, and individual. Psychological egoism is the belief that humans are naturally selfish. While ethical egoism is about how people should act, psychological egoism is about how people do act. Ethical egoism is a branch of normative ethics. This theory states that people act and are motivated by their own interests and desires. We only have one duty, and it is to ourselves. Since people don’t exactly know what others want, we should not try to please them. Instead, we should focus on pleasing ourselves. It is always moral to promote one’s own needs. Advocates of ethical egoism believe that the good of the individual triumphs the good of a society. The opposite of this would be altruism, which only seeks to maximize the good of others, not yourself. The morality of our actions depends on how it will affect other individuals. An altruistic person is selfless and cares for the welfare of others. Psychological egoism is a branch of ethical egoism. It is the theory that states that humans naturally desire to act in their own self-interest. It is in our genes to act this way. Humans are naturally selfish individuals. When people choose to help others, they only do it for personal gain. We act to increase our own good or benefit. The difference between ethical and physiological egoism is that in ethical egoism, we have a choice to act selfish and we should choose to. In psychological egoism, we naturally act selfish. Universal egoism is another branch. It is the universal doctrine that each individual should act in his or her own best interest.
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