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Is not self-interest a subjective affair, or can it be judged for them in an objective sense?

If it is objective, is that a choice? If is subjective, can it be rational? Or vica-versa respectively?

asked Dec 18 '11 at 15:14

Adeikov's gravatar image


edited Dec 18 '11 at 18:43

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Self interest is objective. If you think it is in your interest to eat rat poison you are, objectively, wrong. It does not matter that you want to do so. What most people actually mean today when they say "self interest" is "what someone wants." When objectivists say self interest, we mean what is really in your interest--i.e., what will really, actually, factually, objectively contribute to your flourishing life. To determine what is objectively in a person's interest we judge actions against the standard of man's life, i.e., the life of a man qua man. For example, we know that it is in man's interest (not just this man's interest, but man's interest, i.e., any human being's interest) to be rational. Knowing what is in your interest is not easy. That is why we need ethics--the purpose of ethics is to discover objective principles that teach us how to act in our rational self interest.

answered Dec 18 '11 at 17:55

ericmaughan43's gravatar image

ericmaughan43 ♦

edited Dec 18 '11 at 17:56

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Asked: Dec 18 '11 at 15:14

Seen: 1,798 times

Last updated: Dec 18 '11 at 18:43