John Lippitt
University of Hertfordshire
In recent commentary on Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, a distinction is commonly drawn between ‘proper’ and ‘selfish’ forms of self- love. In arguing that not all vices of self-focus can be captured under the heading of selfishness, I seek to distinguish selfishness from self-centredness. But the latter vice has a far more handsome cousin: proper self-focus of the kind necessary for ‘becoming a self’. As various feminist thinkers have argued, this will be missed if we valorise self-sacrifice too uncritically. But nor need the latter concept be ditched. By distinguishing varieties of self-sacrifice, we can see the importance of avoiding the all too easy slide from proper self-sacrifice to outright self-annihilation. And we can discover that this avoidance is aided by recognising a kind of pride as part of true self- love
Keywords Kierkegaard  Self-love  Self-sacrifice  Selfishness  Self-centredness  Pride
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11153-009-9201-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,916
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Nicomachean Ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 1968 - Harvard University Press.
The Ethics of Authenticity.Charles Taylor - 1992 - Harvard University Press.
Summa Theologica.Thomasn D. Aquinas - 1274 - Hayes Barton Press.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Purpose as a Moral Virtue for Flourishing.Hyemin Han - 2015 - Journal of Moral Education 44 (3):291-309.
Mereological Composition in Analytic and Buddhist Perspective.Nicholaos Jones - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):173-194.
D. Z. Phillips' Contemplations on Religion and Literature.Mikel Burley - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (1):21-37.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
109 ( #105,956 of 2,497,803 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #428,301 of 2,497,803 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes