The Dualism of the Practical Reason

J. B. Schneewind

in Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy

Published in print November 1986 | ISBN: 9780198249313
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598357 | DOI:
 The Dualism of the Practical Reason

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Sidgwick believes that the most profound problem in ethics arises from the relations between the fundamental principles of utilitarianism and rational egoism — a problem he has referred to as ‘the Dualism of the Practical Reason’. This chapter examines Sidgwick’s position on rational egoism. He has argued that when we finally abandon the neutral stance and ask to a synthesis of methods, we will see that intuitionism and utilitarianism join together easily and firmly. However, there remains a ‘fundamental opposition’ between the system resulting from this synthesis and the system that can be built on the principle of rational interest.

Keywords: Sidgwick; utilitarianism; rational egoism

Chapter.  11510 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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