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Egoism tends to receive a bad reputation or negative connotation

Egoism tends to receive a bad reputation or negative connotation because it is often confused with selfishness rather than the preservation of self-interest. Ethical egoism is the view that morally right actions are those that are in one’s own best interest. Since this is a consequentialist theory, the outcome is the determining factor. If the outcome is in the person’s best interest, then it is the morally right thing to do.

For example, Molly’s friends want her to go watch a band play, but she needs to do hours of homework because this is week two of the quarter. Molly’s friends complain that they never see her anymore because of her dedication to obtaining an education. If Molly neglects her homework and goes out, her grades will suffer and she risks failing the course. While she knows watching a band would be a lot more fun, she knows this is a time where she needs to assert her own self-interest of obtaining an education so that she can gain long term outcomes such as a better job and career advancement. After she explains this to her friends, they better understand why her schoolwork comes before social activities. This is the difference between self-interest and selfishness.

For this week’s discussion board, share a time like the example above when you had to assert an egoist approach. What were the facts surrounding the situation? Who were the other people involved (family, friends, coworkers)? How did you explain why your decision was not selfish, but rather in your own best interest?

Sample Solution

and therefore imagine the recreation of seeing red. Lewis also argues that another important ability gained is t`he ability to recognize. If Mary sees the color red again, she will recognize it immediately. Lewis uses the example of Vegemite. If you taste Vegemite at a later time, you will remember (or recognize) you have tasted it in the past. From this, you will be able to put a name to the taste experience. Lewis also argues that these abilities could originate from essentially anywhere – even magic. His main point is that experience, not lessons, is the best method of learning what a new experience is like. Overall, Lewis agrees that knowledge is gained from experiencing red, but believes the knowledge gained is “know-how” information, which is phenomenal, and therefore physicalism is valid. Lewis argues that information and ability are different physical knowledges – this is why physicalism can be true and consistent with the conclusion that Mary gains new knowledge. It is important to consider Lewis’ anti-qualia argument. Although the Ability Hypothesis may seem persuasive to David Lewis, there are several weaknesses. First, when we are shown an unfamiliar color, we actually do learn information about its relative properties compared to other colors (i.e. similarities and compatibilities). For example, we are able to evaluate how red is similar to orange and how it is different. We also learn its impact on our mental states. Physicalism overestimates human cognitive abilities. We have over a million neurons in our brain, and we are nowhere near to gaining a comprehensive view of human cognitive abilities. As any cognitive science major (such as me) knows, understanding what each and every neuron in our brain does is, at a minimum, a long way off. Yet, physicalism assumes we have the power to fully articulate all elements of the world around us and the complexity of our environment. This is not supportable and is a major flaw in his argument. Both Lewis and Jackson agree that some things cannot be learned in a black and white room. The weakness of Lewis’ argument is that he fails to acknowledge the cognitive differences between us and those who do not share similar obdurate mental states. Despite this weakness, there are some strengths for Lewis’ materialistic argument. Lewis removes the inability to assure the non-physical exists. Because he emphasizes the learning of abilities rather than new experiences, his theory relies on the physical and validates that physicalism could be correct. His opponents, dualists, believe that mind and body are separate entities, which is anti-physical. The largest problem with dualism is that it cannot be measured in any shape or form because it is not physical matter. There is no certainty that physicalists and neuroscientists might learn more about the neurophysiology of the brain and discover that indeed there are physical structures supporting experiential sensations that as of now cannot be defined. Until such discoveries, non-physicalist views are valid
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