This conclusion, however, does not follow from the facts. It is quite possible that one's objective may be the welfare of others, and any pleasure which he may or may not receive from it is merely incidental to the action itself. An act that is performed for the sake of others can be called a selfish act only by defining selfishness so broadly that it would be logically impossible to have an exception to it. In this case, the term would become meaningless since it would be equivalent to saying that one does what he does. For self-love, or selfishness, to be a meaningful term, it must be defined in a way that is exclusive of some actions. In other words, it must be possible to distinguish between those actions which are exclusive of the welfare of others and those which are inclusive of it. Only the former can rightly be designated as acts of self-love.
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.