Richard Keshen is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a Ph.D from Oxford University and is now a member of the Common Room at Wolfson College, Oxford. The second edition of his book "Reasonable Self-Esteem" has recently been published, and he is now working on a book on Canadian history and political philosophy.
ABSTRACT: In the first edition of my book, Reasonable Self-Esteem, I described a moral ideal which centers on the value of reasonableness. To this end, I outlined a set of normative criteria that should be used in evaluating our reasons for self-esteem. Following these criteria, I argue, can be the basis of a morally good live. In this talk, based on the second edition of my book, I argue that there is a profound difference between the normative structure I utilize and the normative structure that is implicit in the empirical study of self-esteem conducted by psychologists. In bringing this difference to light, I intend to show that our understanding of self-esteem suffers greatly if we lose sight of the insights that philosophy brings to the subject.
Respondent: Daniel Harris, Assistant Professor of Philosophy (Hunter College, CUNY)