Three Kinds of Self-Respect in Rawls
Keywords:dignity, recognition respect, appraisal respect, moral personality, liberalism
Rawls’s remarks on self-respect have been described as cryptic or ambiguous. The discussion on the meaning of respect and, specifically, Rawlsian self-respect has been considerably influenced by Darwall’s distinction between recognition respect and appraisal respect. Since Rawls identifies self-respect as an essential element of his theory of justice, clarifying the meaning of this concept is essential. This paper defends that Darwall’s dichotomic understanding of respect does not clarify Rawlsian conception of self-respect. Rawls uses the term self-respect to refer both to recognition self-respect and appraisal self-respect. However, he presents a third kind of self-respect which could be termed “value-confidence”. This third kind of self-respect concerns one’s confidence in the value of the particular conception of the good one has chosen. This value-confidence cannot be identified with recognition self-respect, since the latter has the fact of moral personality as its object, not the particular conception one happens to choose.
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