How a Little Selfishness Can Help People See Beyond Themselves

In a thoughtful TED-Ed lesson written by Mark Hopwood and animated by Avi Ofer, narrator Adrian Dannatt explains the various philosophies behind human selfishness, how it has been approached in the past, and how it is possible for a person to act selfishly at times while still seeing beyond themselves.

The question of whether or not humans are inherently selfish is one of philosophy’s oldest debates. The idea that we only act out of self-interest is an extreme stance that few philosophers would endorse. However, the idea that all humans have a deep selfish streak is something many philosophers would agree with.

Selfishness to Selflessness
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.