more from Gordon Graham

Single Idea 6704

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 1. Ethical Egoism]

Full Idea

Egoism is inadequate as a guide to good living. Though it tells us what to do, given pre-existent desires, it cannot help us critically form those desires.

Gist of Idea

Egoism submits to desires, but cannot help form them


Gordon Graham (Eight Theories of Ethics [2004], Ch.9)

Book Reference

Graham,Gordon: 'Eight Theories of Ethics' [Routledge 2004], p.176

A Reaction

A crucial point in morality. It also applies to utilitarianism (should I change my capacity for pleasure?), and virtue theory (how should I genetically engineer 'human nature'?). I think these problems push us towards Platonism. See Idea 4840.

Related Idea

Idea 4840 Reason perceives things under a certain form of eternity [Spinoza]