Thus we pass from Egoistic to Universalistic hedonism, Utilitarianism, Social Ethics, more especially in relation to the still broader theories of evolution.
Thus Christian ethics may be said to insist equally on duty to self and duty to others, while crudely egoistic systems become unworkable if a man renders himself obnoxious to his fellows.
So again, in the stress that he lays on the misery which the most secret wrong-doing must necessarily cause from the perpetual fear of discovery, and in his exuberant exaltation of the value of disinterested friendship, he shows a sincere, though not completely successful, effort to avoid the offence that consistent egoistic hedonism is apt to give to ordinary human feeling.
The truth is that, while Locke agrees entirely with Hobbes as to the egoistic basis of rational conduct, and the interpretation of " good " and " evil" as " pleasure " and " pain," or that which is productive of pleasure and pain, he yet agrees entirely with Hobbes's opponents in holding ethical rules to be actually obligatory independently of political society, and capable of being scientifically constructed on principles intuitively known, - though he does not regard these principles as implanted in the mind at birth.
Shaftesbury had conclusively shown that these were not in the vulgar sense selfish; but the very stress which he lays on the pleasure inseparable from their exercise suggests a subtle egoistic theory which he does not expressly exclude, since it may be said that this " intrinsic reward " constitutes the real motive of the benevolent man.
But he does not seriously trouble himself to argue with egoism, or to weigh carefully the amount of happiness that might be generally attained by the satisfaction of egoistic propensities duly regulated; a supreme unquestioning self-devotion, in which all personal calculations are suppressed, is an essential feature of his moral ideal.
To this conclusion Berkeley seems, in the first place, to have been led by the train of reflection that naturally conducts to subjective or egoistic idealism.
The egoistic longing for a future life.
Some of these admit of a purely egoistic application, and appear to be so understood by the author - as (e.g.) that goods differ in quality as well as in duration, and that the superior good or the lesser evil is always to be preferred; that absence of a given amount of good is preferable to the presence of equivalent evil; that future good or evil is to be regarded as much as present, if equally certain, and nearly as much if very probable.
The failure of " laissez-faire " individualism in politics to produce that common prosperity and happiness which its advocates hoped for caused men to question the egoistic basis upon which its ethical counterpart was constructed.
We find in his theory no satisfactory attempt to discriminate between the pleasure aimed at by the altruist and the immediate pleasure of egoistic action.
This hedonism, however, is not confined to the self (egoistic), but involves a due regard to the pleasure of others, and is, therefore, distinguished further as universalistic. Lastly, Sidgwick returns to the principle that no man should act so as to destroy his own happiness, and leaves us with a somewhat unsatisfactory dualism.
Mandeville's ironical paradoxes are interesting mainly as a criticism of the "amiable" idealism of Shaftesbury, and in comparison with the serious egoistic systems of Hobbes and Helvetius.