Ethics and Egoism
- Psychological egoism: always acting out of self-interest
o Acting as if we take interest in others’ interests.
- Ethical egoism: each person ought to pursue her self-interest exclusively.
Was Hobbes actually a psychological egoist?
- Some passages do support this..
o Many scholars argue
that he had a more sophisticated view, that he thought people had a limited
that it is uncharitable to call him a psychological egoist,
and that it leads to problems for his entire view.
- Hobbes and Human Nature: limited through morality is in our best interest, entering into
the social contract of generalized morality is beneficial to us.
o Man is equal in ability in vulnerability – the weakest has the strength to kill the
strongest; “even the strongest must sleep”.
o Our ends are wholly our self-preservation and enjoyment (survival and happiness)
o Our nature displays limited altruism
o We are either practical, rational beings or suicidal animals.
Practical and rational being; have identifiable ends and are able to reason
about how to get those things.
o State of Nature: no government, no authority
Man has a right to all things
Constant competition for resources, it is naturally assumed that resources
Cooperation is seemingly impossible
No security, no trust, only fear.
o Reasons for War: