1. Philosophically, Egoist is not a bad word. It’s a human biased behavior towards the self, particular community, or group. Even animals have this biased behavior wherein they give preference to their basic needs like hunger first.
2. It is an idea popular from the time of Aristotelian Nicomachean Ethics wherein he promotes that it’s good to be selfish and to think about self. Aristotle has said that to think about self is the noblest deed. And we couldn’t argue on this because self-love trend is gaining popularity day by day.
3. To get to the meaning, we need to understand the difference between ego, egotism, and egoism. Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem, self-importance, and self-respect. Egotism is a sense of absolutely being absorbed in one-self and giving excessively importance to oneself. Egoism is to Act in one’s own self-interest or desires. To make this more clear, Ego will not compromise with other people, its self-respect would be lowered. Egotism will talk mostly concerning the subject matter “I”, and Egoism would not do charity because he feels he would be left penniless during critical time.
4. Why Humans are Egotist? For humanity, it’s difficult to be altruistic i.e., a person having concern for others without caring for self. Altruism is occasionally observed at a time of duty, obligations, culture, pride, and belongingness. Even a Doctor treats patients because of his nature of Profession. Also, Love & care of parents towards their children is because of sense of belongingness.
5. Humans act in relation to consequences, and mostly they feel it should be in their favor. A person gaining nothing by an altruistic Act would rarely commit to it. A person suffering by a good deed would most likely to avoid it.
6. The concept of individuality, human rights, freedom, liberty, democracy is the result of human’s egoistic nature. Humans interest towards their own gene is reflected through humans popular subjects of concern like Politics, History, Psychology, etc.
7. Normative Egoism proposes that humans should/ought to act in a way that feels right to them, and maximizes their self-interest. Humans build society, community, country because they want to preserve their traditions, cultures, values, interest for longer generations.
8. Ethical Egoism means that it is right to help others because helping others reflects back. Once you help others, people will help you back. Ethical egoism is a part of Normative egoism. A neighbor lends you his car, because in future you might help him in need.
9. Rational Egoism is that which helps you to achieve overall growth and happiness in life. It is concern with your interest, needs, and effectiveness. In case, you are hiring someone, you will check your company demands and needs rather looking into that person needs.
10. Psychological/Descriptive Egoism believes that we are always attracted or motivated by those which concerns us. A person will prefer joining Yoga class rather donating money in charity, it is because the Yoga class could help to stay fit, healthy, and achieve higher goals. A charity may not help that person for long run, but a yoga class will do.
To conclude, Egoist is a healthy term in Philosophy. So next time, your friend blames you with such words, you don’t need to feel low. This particular word is an important part of human life. Human beings are mostly driven by needs rather choice. Thus, the need to be egoist is okay and could go well with day-to-day situations.