Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-Love

John Lippitt

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The problem of whether we should love ourselves – and if so how – is an important yet underinvestigated theme in the writings of Søren Kierkegaard. In Works of Love, Kierkegaard argues that the friendships and romantic relationships which we typically treasure most are often merely disguised forms of 'selfish' self-love. Yet in this nuanced and subtle account, John Lippitt shows that Kierkegaard also provides valuable resources for responding to the challenge of how we can love ourselves, as well as others. Lippitt relates what it means to love oneself properly to such topics as love of God and neighbour, friendship, romantic love, self-denial and self-sacrifice, trust, hope and forgiveness. The book engages in detail with Works of Love, related Kierkegaard texts and important recent studies, and also addresses a wealth of wider literature in ethics, moral psychology and philosophy of religion.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages218
ISBN (Print)9781107035614
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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