As a matter of fact, however, egoism has been no less prominent in intuitional ethics.
The egoism of the upper classes held military duty in contempt, while their avarice depopulated the countryside, whence the legions had drawn their recruits.
Thus, on the whole, the impressive earnestness with which Clarke enforces the doctrine of rational morality only rendered more manifest the difficulty of establishing ethics on an independent philosophical basis; so long at least as the psychological egoism of Hobbes is not definitely assailed and overthrown.
He conceives it as a state of social harmony so complete that in it even the antagonism between altruism and egoism will have been overcome.
For just as there is no self-realization which does not involve self-sacrifice, so there is no room for that species of egoism within the confines of morality which is incompatible with social service.
Though no man was ever more free from anything like the egoism of the intellectual coxcomb, yet he abounded in that active self-confidence and self-assertion which is natural in men who are conscious of great powers, and strenuous in promoting great causes.
But the quasi-theistic assumption that what is natural must be reasonable remained in the minds of Hobbes's most docile readers, and in combination with his thesis that egoism is natural, tended to produce results which were dangerous to social well-being.
Thus the notion of natural unregulated egoism turns out to be a psychological chimera.
Pure egoism and pure altruism are alike impracticable.
At the outset she felt some repugnance for the thin sallow-faced young officer, and was certainly terrified by his ardour and by the imperious egoism of his nature; but she consented to the union, especially when he received the promise of the command of the French army of Italy.