The Ethical Egoist: What's The Problem

1033 words - 5 pages

In Plato’s The Republic, Socrates tries to explain the value of justice to man. Other educated Athenians challenge him, however Socrates pokes holes in all of their statements. Socrates argues that there are many problems with their views on social philosophy, especially when it comes to Thrasymachus’ idea of ethical egoism. Plato delivers his view of justice through Socrates when he responds to Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Cephalus on the issue. Throughout the discussion, Plato never argues against the egoism within humans, however he objects to the idea that the unjust man is better off then the just man; he believes that in order to reach eudaimonia justice is the self-interest that all men ...view middle of the document...

Plato tries to emphasize that an ethical egoist who thinks like Thrasymachus will cause a lot of problems within society. If everyone acted in their own self-interest, it would be impossible for all interests to be satisfied and this leads to conflict. Instead, Plato offers a revised definition of self-interest.
Plato’s idea of eudaimonia is crucial to understanding what he argues through Socrates in The Republic. According to Plato eudaimonia is the greatest form of good, so all men should try to reach this state. This is where Socrates and Thrasymachus disagree; Thrasymachus believes that justice, or the virtue of it, actually hinders anyone from reaching eudaimonia. Whereas Socrates, or Plato, argues that being just and good is essential to eudaimonia. This counters with the ethical egoist who believes that being just is not in the business of self-interest and therefore not good for eudaimonia. Socrates states, "Justice, although it resembles a mirage, is really concerned with internal rather than external activity - with the true self and its business” (Plato, 443C). This is important in understanding Socrates point on justice and how it makes a man good and virtuous. Everything is internal, or self-related, however, that is what makes a man good. So in reality, being good and just is a selfish thing, but it also is a selfless thing. Thrasymachus is an Athenian who believes that reaching eudaimonia involves things like honor and riches, but Socrates tries to say that none of that matters as long as they are just because that is when the soul is truly good.
One thing that Socrates never does, which is important to the whole discussion, is he never disagrees that man is egotistical. But where Thrasymachus makes this the center of his argument and states, “that justice is nothing else but the advantage of the stronger,” Socrates believes that a life of justice is in our own self-interest (Plato, 338C). Both men are arguing that self-interest comes into play, but they display...

Find Another Essay On The Ethical Egoist: What's the problem

What's on the Menu? Essay

1523 words - 6 pages Title Muffin tops, Weight Watchers, Atkins, these are all among the jargon designated for the horizontally challenged today. These words and others are the runoff of a much larger problem, obesity. Americans today have made being inactive and feasting on junk food acceptable, thereby greatly increase the percentage of the population that is extremely overweight. Excessive eating is not the lone source for this disproportionate problem of

What's with the attitude Essay

1096 words - 5 pages ponder what are the writer’s intentions when using attitude takes a longer time to think about. One uses attitude differently than other writers. A writer can use attitude to get their points and message across from their writings. For example, in “McDiculous” by Chuck Klosterman, one line he said in the article was, “The biggest problem with America is people who blame faceless corporate forces instead of accepting accountability for their own

Cheating: What's the Big Deal?

1385 words - 6 pages not learning," she says. "The only thing you'll become good at is cheating!"Kennedy says it's a problem that starts small. "Usually it begins in third or fourth grade, with spelling words written on your hand or another piece of paper," she says. "Later, it copying homework or tests. You see other kids doing it, so you do, too."By the time kids reach high school, 70 percent admit theye cheated on a test, according to the Josephson survey. And

What's The Construction Schedule Optimization?

1083 words - 4 pages procedures are then used to govern the execution planning. The focus of this research will be on the execution planning and more precisely Construction Planning Optimization Problem. Hypothesis The aim of this research to answer the following questions How do construction planners schedule projects? What is the extent of involving Optimization techniques in the scheduling process? How the construction professionals map various scheduling tools to

Fannie Mae: What's The Damage?

560 words - 2 pages PROBLEM: After reviewing the facts of the article, it appears that Fannie Mae has an accounting problem, which may be due to inappropriate management decisions and lax internal controls of these decisions and practices.ALTERNATIVE #1: The first alternative in solving management's poor financial decisions at Fannie Mae, is to have the board of directors demand that top management executives at Fannie Mae step down from their duties, or the

What's Best for the Environment?

927 words - 4 pages preexisting stereotypes of their “opposition”, entirely distinct goals, and solutions which seek different sectors of development. When solving a problem of dispute, one of the greatest boundaries to overcome is preexisting notions about one group’s opposition. Wilson outlines three definitive misconceptions that both parties maintain about the other. Chiefly: derogatory terms, their political orientation, and their goals in power. He begins his

What's the Opposite of God?

1357 words - 5 pages physical material mater. When a human being dies, their soul tries to reach God. However, the evil God tries to stop the souls from reaching God after death. The process of the soul reaching God from the material form was possible through special knowledge revealed by the Gnostics. God who came from the spiritual realm reveals the knowledge necessary for the redemption. Therefore, this view presents a problem with orthodox thinkers because it denies

Financial and Managerial Accounting: What's The Difference?

2912 words - 12 pages . Ethical standards and guidelines are not intended to be a road map solution to every practice-related problem, but, to aid in the decision-making process for situations that involve ethical questions. Given the nature of the accounting profession, it is inevitable that practitioners will encounter novel situations in their jobs, and thus will need ethical guidelines to handle them effectively. Ethical codes and standards, such as that

What's Left When the Olympics Are Over

2252 words - 10 pages Issues Chilling U.S.-Russian Relations As Winter Olympics Begin In Sochi." ThinkProgress RSS. Center for American Progress Action Fund, 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 06 May 2014. Chowdhury, Safiah. "Why Did the Sochi Olympics Draw so Much Criticism?" - Opinion. Aljazeera, 22 Feb. 2014. Web. 06 May 2014. Gates, Sara. "China Smog Photos Show How Bad Its Air Pollution Problem Has Become." The Huffington Post., 21 Oct. 2013. Web

What's the impact of McDonald's on the American society ?

971 words - 4 pages What's the impact of McDonald's on the American society ? TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction → The effects on the American society I - The impact on the consumer II - The impact on the society III - The impact on the environment Conclusion Bibliography Today, if you are hungry you can easily find a fast food and when you think at it, what's the first thing that comes into your mind ? It's probably McDonald's. Since his

What's the Bottom Line to a Healthier Lifestyle?

1012 words - 4 pages What's the Bottom Line to a Healthier Lifestyle?The danger posed by lack of attention to employees' physical health has been the focus of the Michigan Surgeon General since the appointment of the office has shed light on a serious problem. Michigan's own governor has also addressed important issues contained in the report from the Surgeon General that affect long-term health that will ensure the workforce remains productive. "The Surgeon

Similar Essays

The Ethical Egoist In Plato's Republic

1140 words - 5 pages The ethical egoist is one who believes that it is morally right to act strictly in one's own self-interest. Understandably, this belief poses a threat to social cooperation and, therefore, clearly introduces a significant political problem. I believe that the best example of ethical egoism is displayed in Book I of Plato's The Republic. In this Book, Plato introduces the idea of ethical egoism, explains the political problem posed by it, and

What's The Problem With Free Will?

1007 words - 5 pages ” free action is never truly an option but merely an illusion. The problem that occurs with this line of thinking is that it becomes impossibly ambiguous. Consider, that if an actor’s beliefs and desires cause the very action the Could Not Have Done Otherwise Argument postulates won’t occur, than the argument become entirely circular and fails to prove action is isn’t free chosen. There are instances where action isn’t freely chosen such as actions

Ethical Egoism: The Problem With Ayn Rand

2516 words - 10 pages there is some benefit to be gained for ourselves and we inadvertently help someone else. If people actually ran around telling everyone that they were selfish and they would step on or over us to get what they want, I firmly believe that they would be ostracized and friendless. Therefore, the ethical egoist doctrine is contradictory because it wouldn’t be in a person’s best interest to shout those views to the world – some people would be

Curfews: What's The Point? Essay

909 words - 4 pages Curfews: What's the Point? The 14th amendment of the United States Constitution states that any state shall not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" (Legal). However, many cities and states in the US currently enforce curfew laws that deny young teens under the age of 18 their right to be in public places or to drive