Chapter

Reasonable Self‐Interest

Thomas E. Hill

in Human Welfare and Moral Worth

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252633
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597695 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199252637.003.0006
Reasonable Self‐Interest

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Contrasts common‐sense ideas of what is reasonable with current philosophical ideas of rational choice: (1) maximizing self‐interest, (2) efficiency and coherence in pursuit of one's ends, (3) maximizing intrinsic value, and (4) efficiency and coherence constrained by a Kantian ideal of co‐legislation. Contrary to the usual assumptions, the last corresponds more closely to common‐sense ideas than any of the other models do. This is not a proof of the Kantian ideal, or of common sense, but it calls for rethinking assumptions about self‐regarding and other‐regarding reasons for action.

Keywords: common sense; efficiency; intrinsic value; Kantian ideal; rational choice; reasons for action; self‐interest

Chapter.  18584 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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