|Self-love (Self`-love`) (?), n.
The love of one's self; desire of personal happiness; tendency to seek one's own benefit or advantage. Shak. "Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul." Pope.
Synonyms -- Selfishness. -- Self-love, Selfishness. The term self-love is used in a twofold sense: 1. It denotes that longing for good or for well-being which actuates the breasts of all, entering into and characterizing every special desire. In this sense it has no moral quality, being, from the nature of the case, neither good nor evil. 2. It is applied to a voluntary regard for the gratification of special desires. In this sense it is morally good or bad according as these desires are conformed to duty or opposed to it. Selfishness is always voluntary and always wrong, being that regard to our own interests, gratification, etc., which is sought or indulged at the expense, and to the injury, of others. "So long as self-love does not degenerate into selfishness, it is quite compatible with true benevolence." Fleming. "Not only is the phrase self-love used as synonymous with the desire of happiness, but it is often confounded with the word selfishness, which certainly, in strict propriety, denotes a very different disposition of mind." Slewart.
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