I am looking for the name and possibly deeper development of the system of ethics / morality exemplified by the attitude of Yossarian, the main protagonist of Catch-22 novel by Joseph Heller. Yossarian's primary concern is his own safety:
Havermeyer was a lead bombardier who never missed. Yossarian was a lead bombardier who had been demoted because he no longer gave a damn whether he missed or not. He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.
- Yossarian cannot be really called a coward, since he is not believing in the war in which he is fighting and the necessity of his sacrifice (at least not in the way these are viewed by his superior officers, such as Colonel Cathcart).
- Neither is he a conscientious objector or a pacifist, since he is not really objecting the war, but only the risks that it poses to him. Unlike his friend Dunbar, Yossarian is not willing to risk a court-martial (indeed, this would compromise his personal safety)
- Yossarian also cannot be called a free rider, as he is not aiming to benefit from the war being fought by others.
Perhaps, his attitude is some form of individualism or liberatrianism, since his beliefs are ultimately grounded in the dangers the war poses personally to him, and he considers anyone oblivious to these dangers as crazy.
Quote about personal dangers:
“They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.
"No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.
"Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.
"They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."
"And what difference does that make?”
About craziness (the attitude is apparently shared by the author - at least it is taken as the basis of the discussion):
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
In my answer in another thread I have called this attitude Yossarianism. I am interested in exploring it deeper, particularly in the context of an individual vis-à-vis war.
Remark: Note that the question is not about the logical paradox, also known as Catch-22, and popularized by the novel (as discussed, e.g., in this thread.)