Respond to at least one person. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.
- Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside scholarly source)
- APA format for in-text citations and list of references
Please write a minimum of five complete sentences for your one peer posting. You should also consider referencing some information from the course textbook, lecture lessons, or a scholarly source to help support your written response post.
This discussion focuses on Ayn Rand and self-interest.
Kim (2014) stated that the most common definition used for self-interest includes the ability to maximize material resources while decreasing the level of harm caused to an individual. This harm can include a person’s health. It can also include a person’s wealth. Self-interest is considered a powerful motivator. According to Kim (2014), self-interest is the motivation behind humans setting goals. It is also the reason behind individuals achieving them.
Kim (2014) also noted that engaging in pleasure that makes an individual feel subjectively good can lead to self-interest. This can happen even if the person does not obtain any monetary gain. Likewise, this can occur even if an individual’s health is not impacted. For example, “the taxpayer who wants to pay taxes simply because it makes him feel good to help society would be self-interested because of the hedonistic benefits he accrues” (Kim, 2014, p. 100).
Likewise, an individual who engages in risky sexual behaviors and/or smoking cigarettes both could be interpreted as self-interest. Kim (2014) stated that the pleasure feelings that individuals experience are self-interested even if these feelings coming with expenses to the health of the individual engaging in them.
As it relates to the public’s view on self-interest, many American voters in the 1950’s declared self-interest as playing a pivotal role in society (Weeden & Kurzban, 2017). Since the 1950’s; however, researchers have completed studies that reflect the opposite. Voters are now finding self-interest to play less of a role in society.
In closing, it is important to know that Alexis de Tocqueville held his own views related to self-interest. These views were no precursor to the views of philosopher Ayn Rand. Tocqueville believed that self-interest could lead a person to support others or it could lead to an individualized focus (Frohnen, 2000).
Rand believed in the individualism as well as man’s ability to reason. Moreover, Rand believed “when we describe one person’s action as altruistic and another person’s action as self-interested, we may be overlooking the fact that in each case the person is merely doing what he or she most wants to do”(p. 69).