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Chapter 5 Summary

The Elements of Moral Philosophy’s fifth
chapter is showing about Ethical Egoism and Psychological Egoism. At the first, book starts by example, why do we
need to help the starving. Then it explains about psychological and ethical

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Psychological egoism
is the theory that all human behavior is ‘for one’s own interest’. In psychological
egoism, all people merely do what they want to do for their own benefit, and
even under this theory charity and pity, which are altruistic actions, are
interpreted to have been made for selfishness, not others. Psychological egoism
is claimed based on the premise that ‘we always do what we want to do best,’
and ‘we do something that gives satisfaction.’ However, both premises are
defective and are not well supported. Reinterpretation of motivation is also a
decisive device for persuasive psychological egoism, but there is no logical
reasoning to reinterpret motivation. By separating selfishness, self-interest,
and pleasure, psychological egoism collapses. It is selfish to not consider
even in a situation where it is possible to consider others, and besides, the good
works done in the name of being for oneself enter the category of
self-interest. In psychological egoism, egoism is a concept confused with

Ethical egoism is the
claim that everyone should pursue his own interests. But it does not claim to
be ‘helping others’. There are cases where the interests of the individual
correspond to the interests of others. It is also instructed that what is right
in ethical egoism is ‘to be beneficial to oneself’, seeking these benefits and
seeking ‘long-term benefits for oneself’. Interestingly, psychological egoism
and ethical egoism are incompatible opinions. If psychological egoism is true, ethical
egoism does not need to be argued, and for ethical egoism to be true, psychological
egoism needs to be false.

In this way,
depending on what choice you make at each moment, the result can lead to a
situation in which only the selfishness of the individual fills up in a truly
altruistic result. But, as a result, ethical issues are also relative, so there
is no independent standard to judge which moral standards are better, and so
one moral standard is no better than another moral standard. This realization
that we are close to each other is the deepest reason for our morality to
recognize the needs of others. So, ethical egoism isn’t collect with moral
theory when the book says.

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