Chapter III: Hedonism.

§ 63.

The second cause I have to give why Egoism should be thought reasonable, is simply its confusion with that other kind of Egoism—Egoism as a doctrine of means. This second Egoism has a right to say: You ought to pursue your own happiness, sometimes at all events; it may even say: Always. And when we find it saying this we are apt to forget its proviso: But only as a means to something else. The fact is we are in an imperfect state; we cannot get the ideal all at once. And hence it is often our bounden duty, we often absolutely ought, to do things which are good only or chiefly as means: we have to do the best we can, what is absolutely right, but not what is absolutely good. Of this I shall say more hereafter. I only mention it here because I think it is much more plausible to say that we ought to pursue our own pleasure as a means than as an end, and that this doctrine, through confusion, lends some of its plausibility to the utterly distinct doctrine of Egoism proper: My own greatest pleasure is the only good thing. (§ 63 ¶ 1)