Analytic Philosophy

Analytic Ethics

What is ethical egoism?

Ethical egoism is the moral system that everyone ought to pursue his or her own self-interest above all other goals. As with ethical relativism, it has both a descriptive and prescriptive form. Descriptive ethical egoism holds that everyone always pursues their own self-interest; prescriptive ethical egoism holds that everyone should always pursue his or her own self-interest. Insofar as she thought that communism and socialism were evil and widespread, Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was not a descriptive ethical egoist, although she was clearly a prescriptive ethical egoist.


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