1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology (2020)

Nathan Nobis
Morehouse College
Selfishness is often considered a vice and selfish actions are often judged to be wrong. But sometimes we ought to do what’s best for ourselves: in a sense, we sometimes should be selfish. The ethical theory known as ethical egoism states that we are always morally required to do what’s in our own self-interest. The view isn’t that we are selfish—this is psychological egoism—but that we ought to be. This essay explores ethical egoism and the main arguments for and against it. [Note: there are links for two versions below; a 1000 Word Philosophy version and a longer version in "Introduction to Ethics: An Open Educational Resource"]
Keywords egoism  ethical egoism  psychological egoism  altruism  Rand  Ayn Rand
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