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TEA, Rand & 2020

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From a philosophical perspective,I respected the Tea Party for having an explicit  and publicly stated philosophical foundation.  This foundation was, of course, the ethical egoism of Ayn Rand. It can be argued that the Tea Party died on July 22, 2019, but the ethical egoism it embraced has lived on and can be used, perhaps, to make theoretical sense of some conservative views in 2020. But first a look at the theory. Ethical egoism is a consequentialist view of ethics.  While there are many forms of consequentialist ethical theories they all endorse the view that the action that should be taken is the one maximizing positive value for the morally relevant beings (those that count). So, a consequentialist theorist must specify the measure of value  and decide who counts, thus defining the scope of morality. In the case of ethical egoism, each person limits the scope of morality to themselves. Ayn Rand, who wrote the Virtue of Selfishness, is a paradigm ethical egoist.  For her, each person should act from selfishness and do what is in their best interest. For the ethical egoist, they are the only one with moral value—though other people and things can be valuable to them. Ethical egoism differs from plain selfishness in that it is a moral theory that prescribes what people should do rather than a quality of character. Ethical egoism also differs from psychological egoism. This is the view that people are only motivated by self-interest and is a descriptive psychological theory. Ethical egoists do often accept psychological egoism and argue that we should act upon our nature. The main moral opponent of ethical egoism is altruism. The altruist extends the scope of morality beyond themselves and accept that other beings matter morally. Altruism comes in degrees, but ethical egoism is absolute: if you are an ethical egoist, then only you count morally. This, which might seem odd, applies to each ethical egoist. Ethical egoists sometimes use a sports analogy to explain. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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