The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Self-Interest

  • D. H. Monro
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1455

Abstract

Two of the basic questions with which moral philosophers have been concerned are: (a) what are the fundamental principles of morality? (b) why should we obey them? One tempting answer to the second question is: because obeying them is in your own interest. Tempting, because any other answer simply invites a further ‘why?’. For example, ‘why bother about helping others to get what they want?’ clearly demands an answer. But ‘why bother about getting what you want?’, though of course it can be asked, hardly makes sense.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. H. Monro
    • 1
  1. 1.