: : SDF: This term "self-interest" is meaningless, whether used by Gee or Red Deathy or anyone, because it tells us nothing about the underlying motivations of behavior.
: It matters in the context that the person undertaking whatever action believes it to be in his/her self interest. You decide the value and act upon it.
SDF: Any action can thusly be interpreted as evidence of any value, therefore self interest says nothing about the influence of values or context on behavior.
: There is no hard prescription for what self interest must be, its a reinforcement that perceived self interest is the prime motivator and that the idea of 'selflessness' is an illusion, or at best a confusion of terms.
SDF: You've just proved my point. We can attribute any behavior, by anyone, as a product of "self-interest," simply by maniuplating our interpretation of the underlying reasons for behavior, therefore "self-interest" says nothing about how people behave.
: : pompous-asses who think they have discovered something "essential" about "human nature".
: Just as the pompous asses who think humankind are 100% shaped by environment and have no 'human nature' whatsoever.
SDF: How about those pompous asses! They think behavior is environmentally determined, i.e. by nature, but they don't believe in human nature! What a lot of contradiction!