<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Cooper (Wesley) - Parfit, Heroic Death, and Symbolic Utility (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_04/PaperSummary_4999.htm">Parfit, Heroic Death, and Symbolic Utility</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/C/Author_Cooper (Wesley).htm">Cooper (Wesley)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Journal of Social Philosophy, Summer2002, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p221-239, 19p; </th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_04/PaperSummary_4999.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Philosopher s Index Abstract</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This article examines the defense by Derek Parfit of the principle that it is not irrational to perform an action one believes to be morally right, even if it is not in one's self-interest. He calls this principle CP2. </li><li>The principle that sacrifice requires compensation (SRC) is central to rational egoism. Parfit's principle CP2, by contrast, implies that compensation is not rationally necessary, at least when one is acting for moral reasons. </li><li>This difference between SRC and CP2 is discussed. Rational egoism is not psychological egoism. It does not presume that we are psychologically incapable of acting against our self-interest, or what we perceive to be that. It is about rationality rather than psychological necessity. </li><li>Nor is it ethical egoism. Rational egoism does not deny the possibility of rational sacrifice or even self-sacrifice, thought it places strictures on them that other doctrines would not. </li><li>Rational egoism counsels sacrifice of something good for oneself when doing so leads to something better for oneself. SRC is compatible with what Parfit calls Reductionism about personal identity, but it is ambivalent toward the Present-Aim Theory of rationality. </li></ol></FONT> <BR><u>Author s Introduction</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>In <a name="2"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_41.htm">Parfit (Derek) - Reasons and Persons</A>" Derek Parfit defends the principle that it is not irrational to perform an action one believes to be morally right, even if it is not in one s self-interest. He calls this principle CP2 and formulates it as follows: <ul type="disc"> There is at least one desire that is not irrational, and is no less rational than the bias in one s own favor. This is a desire to do what is in the interests of other people, when this is either morally admirable, or one s moral duty. (Parfit 1984, 131) </ul></li><li> I will examine his defense of this principle, which is essentially an invocation of a <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought-experiment</A><SUP>1</SUP> he labels <em>My Heroic Death</em>, with a view to clarifying its relationship to rational egoism and the principles of rational choice, as explained below. </li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T06:27" pubdate>02/08/2018 06:27:14</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>