Chapter Five: Teleological Theories : Egoism
Section 4.  Social Policy

What are the social consequences of ethical egoism? (We're no longer directly interested in psychological egoism.) What would the world look like if we were all Ethical Egoists? What social and political policies be in an Ethical Egoist world? What forms of government? What economic systems? What sorts of laws, and court systems? How would all these things compare to a Judeo-Christian culture?

Government: would we have democracy?

Would there be any social programs like welfare? Social security? Affirmative action? Would we regulate energy, or the distribution of healthcare? Would health care be free? What about public schooling -- would grammar school be free, but high school not? What about college?

Economics: would there be laissez-faire capitalism?

So although we all know people who attempt to live their lives as egoists, they are not generally well liked.  Being so totally focused on the self is not likely to make someone many friends.  Egoists can buy friends but most people avoid egoists as they are thought to be untrustworthy. 

Egoism is not the basis for the moral foundation needed for social life. There are other options. They are the subject of this text.

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Copyright Stephen O Sullivan and Philip A. Pecorino  2002. All Rights reserved.

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