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Economics
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What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness?  Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society.

Jan 19th, 2015

Selfishness is generally the negative characteristics we associate with self-orientation. A selfish person is concerned only with him or herself, to the detriment of everyone else.

Self-interest, on the other hand, can encompass many of the positive characteristics of self-orientation. A self-interested person makes sure his or her needs are satisfied and works within the world to bring benefit (wealth, emotional health, etc.) to those around him or her - because a healthy, normal person's happiness is linked to the happiness of those around them and those who they care about.

Self-interest can be enlightened, productive, and in line with everyone's best interests. Selfishness is generally destructive because the selfish person doesn't just put his own needs first, he actively ignores or works against everyone else's needs.

Everyone is a little bit self-interested and a little bit selfish. We each have to find a healthy balance of perspectives that fits with our roles in the world.


Plz best my answer.Thank you.

Jan 19th, 2015

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