Authors
Jordan MacKenzie
Virginia Tech
Abstract
Philosophers have often understood self-knowledge's value in instrumentalist terms. Self-knowledge may be valuable as a means to moral self-improvement and self-satisfaction, while its absence can lead to viciousness and frustration. These explanations, while compelling, do not fully explain the value that many of us place in self-knowledge. Rather, we have a tendency to treat self-knowledge as its own end. In this article, I vindicate this tendency by identifying a moral reason that we have to value and seek self-knowledge that is independent of the reason that we have to value the beneficial ends that it helps us achieve. I argue that we are in an inescapable relationship with ourselves that requires both self-love and self-respect. Self-love gives us a noninstrumental reason to know ourselves, while self-respect demands that we take this reason seriously. To pursue a project of self-discovery carefully and for its own sake, then, is part of what it is to stand in a loving and respectful relationship with ourselves.
Keywords self-knowledge  self-respect  respect  self-love  self-deception  normative ethics  self-regarding duties
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DOI 10.1017/apa.2018.19
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Love as a Moral Emotion.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):338-374.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.

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