On diffidence: The moral psychology of self-belief

Journal of Philosophy of Education 40 (1):51–62 (2006)
The language of self‐belief, including terms like shyness and diffidence, is complex and puzzling. The idea of self‐esteem in particular, which has been given fresh currency by recent interest in ‘personalised learning’, continues to create problems. I argue first that we need a ‘thicker’ and more subtle moral psychology of self‐belief; and, secondly, that there is a radical instability in the ideas and concepts in this area, an instability to which justice needs to be done. I suggest that aspects of deconstruction are helpful here, and offer a deconstructive reading of Kipling's poem, If—, in order to illustrate the power of literature and a certain kind of philosophy to destabilise and resist closure
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00498.x
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Kristján Kristjánsson (2007). Justified Self-Esteem. Journal of Philosophy of Education 41 (2):247–261.
Richard Smith (2008). Proteus Rising: Re-Imagining Educational Research. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (s1):183-198.
Matt Ferkany (2008). The Educational Importance of Self-Esteem. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (1):119-132.

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