self-interest

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self-interest

the belief that individuals are the best judges of their own interests and should be left to make decisions themselves as customers, employees or entrepreneurs. Self-interest provides a justification for PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE ECONOMIES, which use the PRICE SYSTEM to allocate resources. Compare PATERNALISM, CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMIES.
References in periodicals archive ?
In order to see what makes forgiveness conditional, one must begin with the 'interest' of the subject or the self in itself, self-interestedness. When the subject is interested in itself, it forgives for the benefits of itself.
This assumption was the necessity of fostering "virtue" as an antidote to self-interestedness and the evils that flowed from it.
While there is no way of measuring the phenomenon, it is likely that going to vote in a public place at the same time as one's neighbors promotes the sense of civic responsibility that all citizens ought to feel, so as to temper mere self-interestedness or thinking of politics as just a form of entertainment.
Awkward declares, "The self-interestedness of a black male feminist would be manifested in part by his concern with exploring "a man's place" (p.
Yet his following reaction illustrates his attempt to move away from self-interestedness, toward what he calls negative capability:
When artisans and other interested men in the 1760s and 1770s defended their self-interestedness and claimed that they and their marketplace interests had a right to be personally involved in government, they were in effect demanding to be judges in their own causes; they were insisting that party or faction be made a legitimate participant in government.
Applying reason to nature in a systematic, scientific way revealed hitherto unsuspected mechanisms, some real, like gravity and evolution, and some imagined, like the implacable necessities of history, the immutable dynamics of the market and its invisible hand, and the incorrigible self-interestedness, competitiveness and general viciousness of the human race.
Taking a synoptic view, it is clear that according to Smith, Sen and Foucault, self-interestedness is the key skill necessary for the flourishing of capitalist individuality.
Given an ideological climate that Stefan Collini has aptly characterized as a "culture of altruism," in which only unself-interested actions and motives were held to be morally justifiable, advocates of the professions sought to explain their own professionalization in terms of public service while fending off often satirical criticism of their alleged self-interestedness. (1) For example, doctors urged that formal training and credentializing were necessary to protect the public from quackery, but their critics among political economists countered that such measures were only intended to create an artificial scarcity that augmented the dignity--and fees--of the medical practitioners (see Corfield and Searle).
While sometimes willful and defiant and sometimes passive to the point of self-extinction (Socrates did not protest his punishment), the heroes of civil disobedience believed in the need to obey a higher authority and to be cleansed of self-interestedness. For instance, King's words from an Alabama jail cell in 1963 (where he was being punished for marching in defiance of a court order): "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God....
(83) This is the source of its expertise, but more importantly, it is also the basis for any reassurance that Congress can rise above the lure or trap of self-interestedness. (84)