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ABSTRACT. In this paper I defend ethical egoism, calling it “benign” so as to ward off those who insist on characterizing this ethical school as heartless and even mean. I draw on the Aristotelian ethical tradition wherein the virtue of prudence is paramount. Socratic self perfection, too, helps in understanding this position. I explore various facets of benign egoism, contrast it with “economic man,” etc. In the end what I sketch is a reasonable account human morality in which self-sacrifice, except in very rare cases, is rejected as unethical! pp. 11–38

Keywords: egoism, ethics, selfishness, altruism, self-interest, prudence

TIBOR R. MACHAN
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Chapman University

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