Amor proprio. Attualità politica di una passione moderna

Lo Sguardo. Rivista di Filosofia 27 (2):115-133 (2018)
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This article is devoted to the analysis of the passion of self-love. The first part aims to retrace some of the main landmark cases within the history of modern philosophy (Descartes, Hobbes and the Jansenists), highlighting how the distinction between self-preservation and pride becomes the main explanatory model of human agency. We find a meaningful case of such an anthropology in Mandeville’s categories of self-love and self-liking. We consider the theory of self-liking the attempt to establish a fully-fledged ‘philosophy of vainness’. The second part deals with the contemporary use of self-love. We stress how it can be considered not only as the proper theoretical background for the current debate on recognition. It is also an anti-dualistic analytic tool which contests any Manichean understanding of power. We conclude with an interpretation of Primo Levi’s testimony which ideally stands for an extreme confirmation of modern theories on self-love.
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