Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):323 - 356 (1975)

Ethical egoism, when summarized into a single ethical principle, is the position that a person ought, all things considered, to do an action if and only if that action is in his overall self-interest. The criticisms standardly advanced against this view try to show either that it is subject to some fatal logical flaw or else that, even if logically coherent, it can give no account of the basic parts of morality. Both these objections are mistaken, however, and it is the point of this paper to make this clear. Central to my argument is the distinction drawn in Section 1 between two kinds of moral reasoning and hence two kinds of moral reasons. I call these ‘traditional’ and ‘nontraditional’. Both are present in the writings of contemporary moral philosophers but have not been emphasized or seen as crucial.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.1975.10716116
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Justice as Fairness.John Rawls - 1958 - Philosophical Review 67 (2):164-194.
Rationality, Egoism, and Morality.Richard Brandt - 1972 - Journal of Philosophy 69 (20):681.
The Moral Point of View: A Rational Basis of Ethics.[author unknown] - 1958 - Philosophy 35 (132):69-70.
The Concept of Morality.William K. Frankena - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (21):688-696.
Primary Philosophy.Frederick C. Dommeyer - 1967 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 28 (1):146-147.

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