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(ē`gōĭzəm), in ethics, the doctrine that the ends and motives of human conduct are, or should be, the good of the individual agent. It is opposed to altruismaltruism
, concept in philosophy and psychology that holds that the interests of others, rather than of the self, can motivate an individual. The term was invented in the 19th cent. by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, who devised it as the opposite of egoism.
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, which holds the criterion of morality to be the welfare of others. The term has been variously used, from the benevolent self-interest of the utilitarians to the belief, articulated by Friedrich Nietzsche, that all altruistic sentiment is cowardice. Egoism is frequently associated with the ethics of the early Greek hedonists. Some modern philosophers attempt to reconcile egoism and altruism by adducing the concept of the growing self who invests his interests in an ever-widening field.



an ethical stance in which private interests are viewed as the basic motive for all action and as the chief criterion of value applied to society and to an individual’s immediate milieu.

Egoism arose with the decay of the primitive communal system and the appearance of private property. It reflected the atomiza-tion of social associations and the separation from them of self-sufficient individuals, closed groups, and later, classes, for all of which socially useful activity was, and was regarded as, only a means of consolidating and maintaining their social position.

With the development of the commodity, and especially the capitalist, mode of production, private interests, objectively turned into the goal of action, and the principle of egoism became the universal measure of human enterprise. The principle of egoism underlay the philosophical, political-economic, and moral doctrines of such representatives of the Enlightenment as T. Hobbes, B. Mandeville, A. Smith, D. Ricardo, C. Helvétius, P. Holbach, and J. Bentham, the last of whom advocated the ethic of utilitarianism. With later thinkers, such as M. Stirner, adherence to the principle of egoism frequently took the form of extreme individualism and amorality.

Completely unlimited egoism has always been condemned by ordinary moral consciousness. The principle of altruism was advanced as an alternative to it. Only with the elimination of private property under socialism, however, did egoism cease to be the basic means of motivating social activity; it was supplanted by the principle of collectivism. The final elimination of egoism from human relations will take place in the age of mature communism.


References in periodicals archive ?
Contrary to Hypothesis 1b, closeness led to greater egoistic emotions (oneness, personal distress and sadness) but not altruistic empathy or helping intent.
Hypothesis 2: The perceived higher Egoistic Climate is significantly conducive to the Social Responsibility's better Shareholder view.
The path coefficients from Biospheric Value Orientations to NEP, Energy Conservation Behaviors, and Awareness of Consequences, from Egoistic Value Orientations to Energy Conservation Behaviors, from Awareness of Consequences to Ascription of Responsibility, from NEP to Ascription of Responsibility reflect medium effect sizes in the tested model.
Our analysis complements the growing literature on the impact of green or egoistic features on purchase aims and conduct, drivers of consumers' preferences for goods labeled for sustainability, and environmental standards in the product acquisition decision.
that the pursuit of moral value leads to a harmony of interests among virtuously egoistic agents (9);
Employees who are most egoistic and active do not tend to choose the public sphere.
In this paper, we propose a distributed interference alignment algorithm that provides a game-theoretic interpretation for both the interference signal subspace minimization and the sum rate maximization in K-user MIMO interference channels by directly building on the egoistic and altruistic game equilibria.
But Persson and Savulescu think that family, culture and school are not powerful enough to overcome our built-in egoistic biases.
Egoistic motives include: the opportunity for situations and roles that test one's maturity and responsibility and are a means of socialization, the chance to gain experience before entering a formal framework or paid position and to make contacts in the work world (Clary & Snyder, 1991; Clary, Snyder, & Stukas, 1996; Fischer & Schaffer, 1993; Shin & Kleiner, 2003), and the rewards and tools afforded to the volunteer (Wilson & Musick, 1999).
A sports body chief shouldn't have such egoistic attitude," Roy told 'Times Now'.
From a purely egoistic viewpoint it boils down to that behaviour that benefits hunters and hunting is good and behaviour that hinders hunters and hunting is bad.
Suicides in prison are said to fall into two groups -- egoistic and fatalistic.