Self-interest: An Anthology of Philosophical Perspectives

Front Cover
Kelly Rogers
Psychology Press, 1997 - 293 pages
Human beings naturally care a great deal for themselves--and couldn't survive otherwise. As Aquinas observed, the drive for self-preservation is the first law of nature. Yet in the imperative of self-love, philosophers have also perceived a tacit threat. Plato reminds us that 'the excessive love of self is in reality the source to each man of all offences.' And so the inevitability of self- concern must be balanced with its manifest potential for harm. But how is such a reconciliation possible? This collection brings tohether the efforts of twenty- three great thinkers addressing such themes as the nature of self-interest, its connection to benevolence and morality, and its implications for political theory. The philosophical results are rich and varied. "Self-Interest" is intended for philosophers, students, and anyone inclined to reflect upon a subject of such enduring importance and perplexity as the love of self.

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Contents

Preface
1
NINETEENTH CENTURY
4
Epicureanism
33
MEDIEVAL
47
Thomas Aquinas c 12241274
61
EARLY MODERN
75
Baruch Spinoza 16321677
93
Joseph Butler 16921752
121
Immanuel Kant 17241804
159
Introduction
169
John Stuart Mill 18061873
187
William James 18421910
205
TWENTIETH CENTURY
225
Ayn Rand 19051982
241
David Gauthier b 1932
255
Notes
273

David Hume 17111776
139

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