From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Egoism is an ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.[1]


The term egoism is derived from the Greek ("εγώ") and subsequently its Latinised ego (ego), meaning "self" or "I," and -ism, used to denote a system of belief. As such, the term shares early etymology with egotism.


The terms "egoism" and "egotism" may also refer to:

  • Egotism, an excessive or exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Solipsism (sometimes called egoism), the belief that only one's self exists, or that only the experiences of one's self can be verified
  • Egoist anarchism, a form of anarchism, as most often represented by Max Stirner
  • Egocentrism, lack of emotional obligation to "put oneself in other peoples' shoes"

Philosophers who developed philosophical systems of egoism[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Altruism, the selfless concern for the welfare of others
  • Cogito ergo sum
  • Enlightened self-interest, a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest.
  • Individualism, a focus on the individual as opposed to society
  • Individualist anarchism, anarchism that exalts the supremacy of the individual
  • Machiavellianism (psychology), a tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain
  • Selfishness, denoting the precedence given in thought or deed to the self, i.e., self-interest or self concern
  • Selfism, a pejorative term referring to any philosophy, doctrine, or tendency that upholds explicitly selfish principles as being desirable
  • Suitheism, the belief in self as a deity


  1. ^ "egoism - Definition of egoism in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Max Stirner's Dialectical Egoism: A New Interpretation : John F. Welsh : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  3. ^ McElroy, Wendy (2003). The Debates of Liberty. Lexington Books. pp. 54–55.