SELFISH: IS THERE A BETTER WORD?
>The views people hold, discussion of their views, and complications in >philosophy can often (in my opinion) be related to language. I take it, >no one will think this idea is unusual or vague. A question was recently >posted in the Atlantic Unbound discussion forum, asking for an >alternative for the word "selfish", one that doesn't carry the negative >connotations. I hope my response is not too simplistic for you, but I fail to see the problem. In my view, the word "self-interest" perfectly fulfills your requirements. Every healthy human being should and must maintain a reasonable measure of self-interest. But you are quite right in the unsuitableness of the word "selfish" for the meanings that Ayn Rand employs it. And you will notice that in her book, The Virtue of Selfishness, she actually distorts the dictionary definition in order to use that word. In fact, I have one whole essay devoted to that distortion at my website, Objectivism and Thomas Jefferson. If such an obvious choice as the word SELF-INTEREST is unsuitable, I would be very interested in knowing your reasons why.
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