Psychological and Ethical Egoism, Mill vs Kant, and Ethical Relativism

Good Essays

Topic 1
Distinguish between psychological and ethical egoism and subject each to critical scrutiny in detail. Compare and contrast ethical egoism with virtue theory.

Egoism is a view that states that what a person wants is somewhat relevant to what humans actually do. There is two main types of egoism: psychological and ethical. These two views are very similar; because of this they can easily be interchanged. It is important to be able to recognize the dissimilarity of these two views.
Psychological egoism is the view that describes what humans are motivated by. By definition, it states that the actions of humans are merely to fulfill their wants and desires. This means that the actions taken by humans are never to fulfill someone else’s …show more content…

If this was universally applied, it would actually contradict itself. A world where everyone was selfish and only sought out their own desires would be impossible. The reason being is that an ethical egoist would not want others to be egoists because in turn he would not be able to fulfill his own desires because everyone else would be pursuing their desires rather than his.
Ethical egoism should not be mistaken for the virtue theory, or virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is more about a person and their individualities where ethical egoism focuses more on a single action and its justification. With an egoist, they look more to what they should do rather than how they should be. Virtue theorist believes that an individual’s actions revolve around what is right or wrong in the sense of morality. They focus more on the virtues they can acquire by doing good things so that they may have a good and respectable life.

Topic 2
Compare and contrast Mill and Kant on the question of moral obligation. In particular, explain and explore the differences between them on matters of the relevance of an action’s consequences to its rightness or wrongness.

Moral obligation is a term that describes a belief that an act is one prescribed by a one’s own set of values. Simply put, a way one acts is determined by what they believe is right or wrong. Many philosophers debate the topic of moral obligation; the main issue being

Get Access