Others as Ends

Robert Audi

in The Architecture of Reason

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195158427
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199871407 | DOI:
 Others as Ends

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Much of what we want, such as food and entertainment and good company, we want for our own consumption or enjoyment; but we can also want those same sorts of things for other people. Indeed, if we love other people, we must want certain kinds of things not only for them, but for their sake. This raises the question of whether we, as egoists hold, rationally want something for others only so far as it will lead to something we want for ourselves? Another question is whether given an ordinary knowledge of how others are like us, a kind of altruism is rationally demanded of us. If it is, then practical reason provides at least a limited foundation for ethics, in the sense that a rational person will, under certain conditions, have adequate reason to treat others in accordance with some basic moral principles. This chapter examines this issue and presents the general account of rationality.

Keywords: rationality; altruism; practical reason; egoist; moral principles

Chapter.  16244 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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