Self-respect and Honesty

Filozofia 66:74-82 (2011)

Self-esteem and self-respect refer to a way through which one relates to oneself, although they can be used as a synonymous expressions. On the basis of long tradition, since Kant ties self-respect to morality, all reference to self-respect has to be based on morality. Self-respect has a deeper root than self-esteem which is used to indicate a simple feeling of satisfaction with oneself without any value meaning. Self-respect is not a duty in itself but rather an acknowledgment of moral law which means the recognition of all moral duties. In Kantian ethics self-esteem comes from duty to treat oneself considering mankind in his person. From self-respect derive duties to oneself which are the foundation of duties to other people. Honesty has been understood as a commitment to find the truth and to live according to it. Honesty as a virtue means refusing any falsification of facts. Honesty is the most remarkable expression of self-respect and other-respect, without any concessions to self-deception or other-deception. The aim of the paper is to establish the differences between self-respect and self-esteem and to relate the two with the virtue of honesty.
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