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Can Self-interest provide a plausible foundation for a theory of justice (egalitarian or otherwise)?

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  1. The construction of the selfishness and its acceptation in social sciences - how it impacts on the domain of the social justice
  2. How impossible it is to accept the selfishness as a natural state for human being
  3. New bases for the construction of a theory of social justice

For a long time, humans have been considered intelligent animals, which are able to think and use their mind (Aristotle, [1975], 1098 a). In other words, being human consisted in being virtuous in pre-modern times. Since, the wave of the modernity has widely taken in its wake all these ethics, the deontology or moral vision of the mankind has emerged, that thinks that humans are essentially selfish animals. From the concept of Nietzsche and the death of God, this is established as a fact today. Once the assurance of a moral destiny is dead to us, it seems that only our self becomes important. The traditional figure of the homo-economicus, an individual who seeks to reach his own interest has progressively been imposed as the natural way of being, as much in the social beliefs as in theoretical production (Sen, 1991 [1993], p.88). Obviously, this observation has to be nuanced; numerous theories of Modernity since the enlightenment use this concept in different ways. Obviously, "interest" can be understood in a large sense and must not be reduced to a trivial definition.

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