- In everyday speech the word interests has three main interrelated meanings. Someone may be said to be interested in a topic, in the sense that it excites his or her attention, or curiosity. The usage has had little specialist significance in the social sciences. In its second usage, interests may be used as a synonym for property, or investments. This usage is closely related to a more pervasive usage, according to which interests include whatever contributes to the general well-being, or fulfilment of the purposes of some individual. These latter usages have been very influential in philosophy and the social sciences.Thomas Hobbes's political philosophy is founded upon a materialist view of human nature according to which self-preservation is the underlying motivation of all action. This self-interest view of human motivation was also widely assumed in the discipline of political economy . It was challenged by David Hume , Adam Ferguson , and others on several grounds. Humans were by nature social, so that no clear distinction could be made between self-interest and the interests of others. Ferguson particularly criticizes the association of interests with economic wealth and material possessions, arguing that virtues such as courage, honesty, and loyalty are much more highly valued attributes of the self, and so should take pride of place in any adequate account of interests.Ferguson notwithstanding, the materialist tradition of conceptualizing interests primarily in relation to material wealth or political power and dissociating them from the sphere of values and principles has persisted, both in commonsense usage and in social and political science. However, a significant shift which took place in the nineteenth-century, especially in the context of the historical materialism of Marx and Engels, was the attribution of interests to hypothetical collective actors-social classes and fractions. This practice has subsequently been generalized in such fields as industrial sociology, political sociology, and the sociology of the professions, so as to apply to any group with identifiable common economic or social advantages to protect, or disadvantages to overcome.The great utility of the concept of interests is its apparent ability to link analysis of the objective conditions of life of individuals or groups with their patterns of belief and action. It remains, however, a matter of dispute whether interests can justifiably be attributed to an individual or group without prior knowledge of their beliefs and intentions. If this cannot be done, then much of the apparent power of explanations in terms of interests dissolves into vacuity. Most sociologists would also argue that an individual's sense of social identity must precede his or her conception of self-interest-and for this reason interests can only be defined subjectively rather than (as some, especially certain Marxists, have claimed) objectively. See also class interest.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
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interests — index affairs, dealings Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 interests … Law dictionary
interests — the equity interests of stockholders are often referred to in bankruptcy documents merely as interests. (Glossary of Common Bankruptcy Terms) United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 … Glossary of Bankruptcy
interests — n. stakes, investments 1) to have interests (to have interests throughout the world) 2) to advance, further, promote one s interests 3) to defend, guard, look after, protect one s interests 4) to serve smb. s interests (it serves their interests… … Combinatory dictionary
interests — Those things that a person needs, or that are conducive to his or her flourishing and success. The central examples of things against someone s interests are the things that harm or injure them. The concept thus inherits the problems of… … Philosophy dictionary
interests — Synonyms and related words: Establishment, VIP, baron, big gun, big man, big name, bigwig, brass, brass hat, bureaucracy, celebrity, dignitary, dignity, directorate, elder, father, figure, great man, hierarchy, higher echelons, higher ups,… … Moby Thesaurus
interests — n. inflential group of people in business or society inÂ·terÂ·est || ÉªntrÉªst n. involvement in something, curiosity about something; concern, affair; percentage on a loan which is paid over time (Finance); share, stake, claim; benefit v. arouse … English contemporary dictionary
interests — See interest … Ballentine's law dictionary
INTERESTS — … Useful english dictionary
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United States — The Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United States is a part of the embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C., and is the de facto diplomatic representation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United States. When the US… … Wikipedia
future interests — Interests in real or personal property, a gift or trust, or other things in which the privilege of possession or of enjoyment is in the future and not present. Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Wells, C.C.A.6, 132 F.2d 405, 407. An interest… … Black's law dictionary