Topics: Virtue, Individualism, Egoism Pages: 3 (961 words) Published: February 22, 2013
Egoism vs. Virtue

Egoism is a habit of valuing everything only in reference to one’s personal interest or gain. Basically selfishness, almost an arrogance and conceit of one’s self and only things that will boomerang Back for self gain. In Ethical egoism we will focus on two psychological egoism and ethical egoism. I will also compare egoism to virtue. Egoism is a totally self-centered, self-gaining, and self-gratifying belief system and theory. In some strange ways I did began to understand a blink of its explanation, but overall it all boils down to self. In the book it gives and example of Lincoln helping a piglet and later being asked why he helped pig. He seemed to have helped on instinct in which I believe he did, yet his answer turned to himself. He said “I would have had no peace” so him helping was because it would have been on his conscious and disturbed his peace, yet it still came from humble place and care for others. Some people don’t help and feel nothing so Lincoln’s answer still shows compassion, although it did turn into and “I”. Psychological Egoism, is more of a personalized egoism, it straight for self. In psychological egoism lies a person’s free will, and even in personal gain and benefit we don’t always do what we should. Just as smoking cigarettes they say calms your nerves, and relaxes you. You smoke, you gain, your comfort. However you may also gain lung cancer, or bronchitis. Its what the book calls a “weakness of will” the example I used earlier about Lincoln falls under the psychological egoism, but I still would argue that it came from a place other than self gain. It came from a place of integrity and compassion, Lincoln not having peace does directly affect him, yet it was because it felt compassion for the situation. Ethical egoism, is a theory of what we “ought to do” and how we “ought to” act. One aspect of Ethical egoism is individual ethical egoism, in that you would state things like “I got to look out for myself...
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