Title

Toward a philosophy of interpersonal self and self-esteem

Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Cultural Foundations of Education

Advisor(s)

Emily Robertson

Keywords

Postmodern, Feminist, Interpersonal self, Self-esteem

Subject Categories

Philosophy | Psychology

Abstract

This dissertation starts with a conceptual analysis of traditional conceptions of self and self-esteem as derived from a range of literature (self-esteem tests, curricula, research, and essays). Two main competing conceptions emerge, "dominance" and "empathetic." Rather than take sides, the author delves into some of the strengths and weaknesses of both conceptions to reveal that they actually share "weak" metaphysical assumptions. The author targets these assumptions and draws upon what he terms "resistance" notions of self and self-esteem (post-modern "discursive" and radical feminist "equi-relational"), in addition to the philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer, to form a philosophical alternative--the "interpersonal" conception of self and self-esteem. Conversation is used as a guiding metaphor in drawing the "interpersonal" conception into the larger media of classroom and society.

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