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Mediating for Results

Posted by Lewis on April 03, 2006

In Reply to: Enlightened self interest posted by Smokey Stover on April 01, 2006

: : Who originated the phrase "enlightened self interest"? I know the concept from de Toqueville, but the phrase appears not to be his.

: While it sounds as though it might have been uttered by one of the English philosophers known for "utilitarianism," like Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mill, a swift and shallow search for it reveals nothing. Maybe De Toqueille is the author after all. More likely my search was just too superficial. SS

"Enlightened self-interest" is actually at the core of many methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which means as an alternative to court proceedings. Identifying the 'interests' of the parties, rather than their 'positions' is a key feature of mediation.

the 'enlightened' part comes from securing acceptance that the interests of all concerned need to be brought in and considered in order to have a resolution that the parties are likely to put into effect.

"Enlightened Self-Interest" is a practical concept, not a dusty philosophical thought.