2

Selfish means someone who doesn't care about others' needs.

Unselfish means the one who is willing to put others' wishes before her own.

These two adjectives are radically opposite. What adjective does describe the one who prefers her own desires, but she does not completely ignore others'?

Background: In a multi-agent system, if an agent only cares about reaching its own target, it is called selfish. Instead, if it prioritizes the reachability of its neighbors and completely ignores its own, it is called unselfish. Now, I need to define an agent which still prioritizes itself, but also careful about its neighbors' reachability. So, it cannot be completely "balanced" or "objective" as it is still inclined to itself a bit.

  • 1
    Balanced, objective, thoughtful, measured, logical, utilitarian, fair? What exactly are you looking for? It could be any number of words. Please provide an example sentence with a space for the word you want—and explain the meaning you want to get out of it more. – Jason Bassford Sep 24 '19 at 0:43
  • @JasonBassford: Please check the background section I added to the question. – Pinton Sep 24 '19 at 10:23
0

People can be categorized by countless criteria: age, sex, height, hair color, intelligence, (un)selfishness, friendliness etc.

From the point of view of (un)selfishness, the people can be either selfish, or unselfish. There are no gradual in-betweens.

The only amendment to this is that people can be (un)selfish depending on context, so the following can be used as a surrogate of "grading":

  • occasionally (un)selfish;
  • terribly selfish;
  • usually (un)selfish;

and others following this spirit.


The key to understanding is already written in your definitions:

who is willing to put

This translates to:

  • if it is the case / needed, the person will help others;
  • the person will not help others when it is not needed. Example: The person will not help an old lady cross the street, when the lady does not want to cross the street.
| improve this answer | |
  • Can you please have a look at the background which I added to the question? – Pinton Sep 24 '19 at 10:24
  • Even with the background, the answer stands. If the agent helps others in his own detriment, then the agent is either unaware of the reality, or he is willingly sacrificing. However, it is still unselfish, but at the extreme. So a scale could be: selfish - unselfish - sacrificing. – virolino Sep 24 '19 at 10:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.