Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


How do we live a moral life while also living a life of value to us? A life filled with passions, interests, and relationships? This paper tackles a possible reconciliation between morality and rational prudence that ensures a moral way of life is valuable for the agent that lives it. The author is motivated to build a moral theory that is “good for” the moral agent—an individual that has a capacity to understand the moral value and impact of their actions in relation to others. It is a theory that recognizes the human tendency to follow partial, self-interested, and typically prudent ends. The reconciliation proposed in this paper has two dominant sources of influence. The first is Gregory Kavka’s paper “A Reconciliation Project” (1984). The second is Lester Hunt’s paper “Flourishing Egoism” (1999). After a discussion of their influence, the author engages in an examination of ethical egoism that places it at the centre of the reconciliation project. In this, several objections to ethical egoism are raised an answered considering a rule the author names the gold-copper rule. Establishing a need to convert ethical egoism into a flourishing-based egoism. It is through this notion of flourishing egoism and Kavka’s satisfaction morality, where a reconciliation between morality and rational prudence is possible. One that can properly capture the motivations of the moral agent given their nuanced psychology.

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