Should we enhance self-esteem?

Philosophica 79 (1):71-91 (2007)
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The conviction that high self-esteem is beneficial both to the individual and to society in general has been pervasive both in academia and in popular culture. If it is indeed beneficial, it is a prime candidate for pharmacological enhancement. There is evidence to suggest, however, that the benefits of high self-esteem to the individual have been exaggerated; and that there are few - if any - social benefits. With this evidence in mind, I consider in what ways high self-esteem is valuable, and suggest how enhancement could play a role in maximising its valuable aspects.

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Rebecca Roache
Royal Holloway University of London