Egotism Is Substandard Ethics Application Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Business - Ethics Type: Essay Paper: #53889047 Related Topics: Virtue Ethics, Aristotle, College Admission, College Application
Excerpt from Essay :

Virtue Ethics Beats Egoism

One of the reasons that philosophy is such a fascinating topic that has endured virtually throughout the course of human history is because it presents the crux of human existence in the basic forms of what is right and wrong. Moreover, there are a number of different philosophies that present alternative versions of what values encompass what is right and wrong. Two of the most eminent such philosophies include egoism, championed by Ayn Rand, and virtue ethics, supported by Aristotle. Examining those philosophies with inheritance examples proves virtue ethics is better.

Inheritance itself is the basic notion pertaining to the concept of personal property, and is inherently linked to capitalism (Haslett 143). Essentially, inheritance means that after an individual dies, his or her personal property goes to someone else. There are a variety of laws surrounding this particular issue. In certain instances, people must take action so that the state does not inherit their property. Still, the basic idea is that what one has will go to another after he or she dies. Frequently, it is advantageous to bequeath one's property to others so that one can dictate who inherits...


One of the chief proponents of this theory is Ayn Rand, who believed that it is natural for people to think about themselves and act for their own advantage prior to doing so for others. There are limits, of course, to this aspect of egoism, in which individuals act in their own interest as long as such actions are rational. Still, there is no denying that certain facets of this philosophy are self-centered, if not outright selfish.

When applying egoism to inheritance, it is necessary to remember that the basic principle of this philosophy is to act in one's own rational self-interest. A good example of an egoist perspective of inheritance is of an uncle who, when making up his or her will, decides to bequeath his property to his personal favorite of his eight children. Even though the uncle has another child who could really use his property, the uncle acts in his own self-interest and wills it to his favorite.

Virtue ethics is distinct from Egoism in one really vital way. Virtue ethics is based on the role of character and…

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Works Cited

Morality as Universal.

Haslett. Justice and Economic Distribution.

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