disinterested

Category: Mind | Type: Glossary Word | Title: Persuasion (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 17

(Search.) A word of the utmost importance in Austen and in Shaftesbury, who seeks to prove that we are not, as Hobbes argued, entirely selfish and that virtue consists in a just balance between selfish and public interest. Virtue in Shaftesbury and Austen consists in, optimally, desiring that just balance and acting upon it. But even if we do not always desire it yet nevertheless voluntarily act to effect that balance, we are "esteemed virtuous."  

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