Richard Keshen (Cape Breton University): "Self-Esteem in Philosophy and Psychology Compared"

Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Lewis Library 138

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)