Egoism vs. Altruism

Zsolt Hermann
1 min readOct 31, 2022

Question from the Internet:

“If egoism focuses on “me” and altruism is about “you”, then is there a philosophy that aims at “us”?”

It is true that “egoism” means that I focus solely on myself. All my thoughts, desires, calculations, decisions and actions are about myself. Moreover, my perception of reality is also 100% egocentric and subjective. This means that I notice and sense from the whole world only what is important for my self-interest and my 100% introverted “pleasure/pain” calculations.

This is our default state, the consciousness and perception we are all born with. Thus by default, we all exist in our own egocentric and subjective bubbles, sensing and defining ourselves opposite to and against others and the whole world.

“Altrusim” is the opposite of “egoism”. This means that I learn to exist and act “outside of myself” for the sake of everything that is “beyond me”. This can mean focusing on you or focusing on others or the whole Universe. Through altruism, I can attach everything that I presently sense and consider “outside of myself” to me.

And then the new “me” or “us” includes everything and everybody together with my self, where my self exists and behaves only to sense and fulfil all the “others” that have become part of “me”.

--

--

Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.