Rational Egoism: A Selective and Critical History

Rational Egoism: A Selective and Critical History

by Robert Shaver
     
 

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It is often thought that the rational thing to do must be to pursue one's own self-interest. This position is rational egoism. This book is the first extensive history and evaluation of rational egoism. The author focuses on Hobbes and Sidgwick. They are, after the ancients, the foremost exponents of rational egoism. He also considers other figures - Grotius, Samuel…  See more details below

Overview

It is often thought that the rational thing to do must be to pursue one's own self-interest. This position is rational egoism. This book is the first extensive history and evaluation of rational egoism. The author focuses on Hobbes and Sidgwick. They are, after the ancients, the foremost exponents of rational egoism. He also considers other figures - Grotius, Samuel Clarke, John Clarke, Butler, Hume, Reid, Kant, Paley, and Bentham - and a related position: the instrumental theory of rationality. Robert Shaver's conclusion is that none of the arguments for rational egoism or the instrumental theory are cogent. This is an important book not just for historians of philosophy but for all readers in philosophy or the social sciences interested in theories of morality and rationality.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: 'Shaver provides a trustworthy and insightful guide through Sidgwick's methodology and its application to questions of practical reason … wonderfully well-researched, clear and succinct.' The Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521632539
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Pages:
174
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

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