Over the past twenty years, psychologists have touted the importance of self-esteem – even while the nature of self-esteem remains widely misunderstood.
Ayn Rand considered self-esteem one of the cardinal values in a proper human life. What did she mean by it? How can a person acquire it? And what, exactly, is its role in a flourishing life? This talk explores aspects of these questions. More specifically, it considers what self-esteem is, what self-esteem requires, and what self-esteem provides.
Note: The lecture is not an introductory overview, so much as an elaboration of a few significant features of Rand’s account. It does not require familiarity with her writings on self-esteem, however.
Dr. Smith teaches in the Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin