If someone knows an ancient Greek word for love of self, please post it here.
Sharon, narcissism crossed my mind, but its neurotically self-absorbed connotations do not capture the Objectivist concept of self-esteem.
Besides, it originated from Latin, not Greek.
A Google search has not proven helpful. Perhaps the new and radical nature of Objectivism explains this.
How about Aristotle (and Rands?) concept of "happiness"?
I would define the basis for love pleasurable stimulation, the happiness derived from others. Love is habitual and volitional. After enough abuse, even a pet dog will flee the person that reared it, as will children, siblings and lovers.
Now isn't wise (in contrast to narcissistic delusion) happiness a consequence of a value-judgement regarding being ourselves? And this judgement (Rand's sense-of-life) a consequence of our character, habits, actions, excise of volition in accordance with principles of objective virtue?
I find Rand's three existential questions (where are we, what to do, how to know) fit in with a physics metaphor - How about circumstance as displacement, emotions velocity, volition force and acceleration, habits momentum, and our principles our gyroscope?
Most assume happiness is a state, in contrast to Rand's and Aristotle's view it is the 3rd derivative - a (complex vector) acceleration.
If activities are, as we said, what gives life its character, no happy man can become miserable; for he will never do the acts that are hateful and mean. For the man who is truly good and wise, we think, bears all the chances life becomingly and always makes the best of circumstances...the happy man can never become miserable; though he will not reach blessedness, if he meet with fortunes like those of Priam.
Nor, again, is he many-coloured and changeable; for neither will he be moved from his happy state easily or by any ordinary misadventures, but only by many great ones, nor, if he has had many great misadventures, will he recover his happiness in a short time, but if at all, only in a long and complete one in which he has attained many splendid successes.
When then should we not say that he is happy who is active in accordance with complete virtu
Certainly the future is obscure to us, while happiness, we claim, is an end and something in every way final. If so, we shall call happy those among living men in whom these conditions are, and are to be, fulfilled -- but happy men. So much for these questions.
Rand thought highly of Aristotle. Rand spoke of hurt that "only goes so deep". Her favorite poem was Kipplings "If", which also epitomizes Aristotle's view. (http://www.jfkmontreal.com/if.htm)
"...If you can meet with triumph and disaster.
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If neither foe nor loving friend can hurt you.
If all men count with you ... but none too much."
Of course, most people, ancient as well as now, are only "happy" when self-sacrificing, because, if only out of habit, that's what we're trained, rewarded and punished for from childhood.
When a family or culture becomes so dysfunctional or evil it demands the individual hate themselves to be accepted, the individual will choose either self and flee, or suicide.
I suspect Rand's "selfishness" was less popular then than now, according to the little I know of the ancients. Being very tribal, collectivist, and having a fatalistic sense they were toys of the gods, its likely "selfishness" was discouraged. IIRC, Rand quoted Acton as saying 'freedom is that which has only existed in the last part of the 18th century in America', that is, freedom to pursue your own happiness.
Plato in Republic assumes, as most people today, selfishness is necessarily evil:
In The Republic, Plato ... argues that morality is a social construction, whose source is the desire to maintain one's reputation for virtue and honesty; when that sanction is removed, moral character would evaporate
And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice
How about that Alcibiades of the Peloponnesian war?
He comes across as a kind of Bennedict Arnold and Bill Clinton, hopping sides and living it up?