The beloved self: morality and the challenge from egoism

New York: Oxford University Press (2010)
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Abstract

The Beloved Self is about the holy grail of moral philosophy, an argument against egoism that proves that we all have reasons to be moral. Part One introduces three different versions of egoism. Part Two looks at attempts to prove that egoism is false, and shows that even the more modest arguments that do not try to answer the egoist in her own terms seem to fail. But in part Three, Hills defends morality and develops a new problem for egoism, an epistemological problem. She shows that it is not epistemically rational to believe the most plausible versions of egoism. The first part of the book will be most relevant to those interested in moral theory, as it contains detailed discussions of recent interpretations of virtue ethics and especially of Kant's moral theory. The second and third part of the book turn to epistemology, particularly moral epistemology, and include an account of the relationship between knowledge and action, a new theory of moral understanding, and a discussion of the epistemically rational response to various kinds of disagreement. Hills also defends a new account of virtue and of morally worthy action.

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Conclusion

Common sense morality is in a better epistemic position than Egoism, for those who accept common sense morality can modestly vindicate it – they can defend it to their own satisfaction – whereas most Egoists cannot defend Egoism, even modestly. The key to this defence of morality is the im... see more

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Alison Hills
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Egoism.Robert Shaver - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Moral Testimony Pessimism and the Uncertain Value of Authenticity.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):261-284.
Moral Testimony.Alison Hills - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (6):552-559.

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