Author Archive

Why Should We Believe that Egoism is Self-Effacing?

By • Nov 5th, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Collective action dilemmas have always presented a problem for theories of rationality, but they seem to present a much greater problem for ethical egoism. The existence of collective action dilemmas shows that the actions which self-interest theories of rationality claim are justified lead to disastrous consequences when generalized, but the problem is worse for ethical…
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Defining Ethical Egoism

By • Aug 28th, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

In order to evaluate the plausibility of ethical egoism it is necessary to define it, the more so as one major objection to ethical egoism is that it cannot be coherently defined. One intuitive definition is that (i) an agent, A, ought to conclude that he should act to promote A’s interest and (ii) A…
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An Objection to Cowen’s solution from Bounding

By • Jul 31st, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

In “Resolving the Repugnant Conclusion,” Tyler Cowen suggests that bounding offers a way to avoid the repugnant conclusion. Bounding refers to setting a limit on a certain type of value. Cowen suggests that bounding the amount of value which lives barely worth living contribute to the value of the world blocks the repugnant conclusion in…
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The problem of Collective Self-Defeat

By • Jul 2nd, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

One of the most persistent problems for ethical egoism is that it is directly collectively self-defeating. Parfit shows that prisoner’s dilemmas and the so-called tragedy of the commons represent cases in which if everyone follows ethical egoism, then the result is worse for each. Parfit suggests, however, that, even then, the self-interest theory does not…
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Self-Defeating and Self-Effacing-A Problem for Ethical Egoism?

By • May 31st, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

In the first section of Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit suggests that theories of self interest are inherently indirectly self-defeating and probably self-effacing. Ethical egoism, which I hope can serve to answer the non-identity problem without invoking total utility, is a theory of self interest, and thus it is pivotal to ask whether the fact…
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Blocking the Move from the Non-Identity Problem: A new approach to the Repugnant Conclusion

By • Apr 16th, 2018 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

The Repugnant Conclusion is the conclusion that for any world of moderately happy people, there is a better world with far more people living lives barely worth living. As the name suggests, most people are not comfortable embracing the repugnant conclusion. If one believes that there is a moral duty to improve the value of…
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