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Mirror, Mirror:
The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love
Simon Blackburn

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Blackburn never waxes memoiristic; he uses the first person sparingly. Still, the book implies a quest, Socrates-like, for self-knowledge--by no means to be confused with what Narcissus was after."--Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed

"Guiding us gracefully through the philosophers and writers of subjectivity . . . Blackburn's book is quietly insistent on the potency of rigorous thinking about subjectivity in the face of a deluded, hubristic and dangerous narcissism. . . . Blackburn makes his points with seriousness and severity, but also with a quietly lyrical sensitivity to the necessity of self-respect as a foundation for the respect of others. . . . An admirable calling for philosophers, psychologists and students of myth alike."--Helen Tyson, Literary Review

"Simon Blackburn explores the complex phenomena surrounding selves and self-regard, offering deep insights into notions like pride, ambition, vanity, authenticity, and much else."

"Showing the ways pride and shame work together is Blackburn at his best. . . . This is a book by a philosopher who knows the history of ideas as well as anyone working today, written in Blackburn's witty, accessible, self-deprecating style. I recommend it with enthusiasm. With my own tendency toward misanthropy, I closed the book envying him his evident respect for and even love of other human beings."--Clancy Martin, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Blackburn's grasp on the subject is impeccable and his lucid narrative is loaded with nuggets of wisdom. . . . The book provides enough resources for self-correction, a search for true self, based on a hard process of analysis, discovery and purification."--Cover Drive Blog

"Quoting Miss Piggy and Wittgenstein with equal ease, Blackburn maps the terrain of self-love in its many manifestations from self-esteem to vanity, narcissism, and beyond."--Choice

"Writing in his usual witty style, Blackburn weaves together insights from Greek mythology, popular culture, literature, and the history of philosophy to develop a remarkably seamless discussion."--Lorraine Besser-Jones, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Blackburn's tone is light-hearted and often entertaining, and I don't doubt the book's appeal to a generalist audience wishing to take pleasure in a well-crafted distillation of philosophical ideas of the good life."--Julie Walsh, Centre for Medical Humanities

"Blackburn's wide ranging, engaging, and deeply thoughtful volume is admirable for many reasons, but above all else, one hopes, it is a tool to help liberate the human imagination."--Troy Jollimore, Philosophers' Magazine

"I found Blackburn's treatment of issues surrounding self-love and self-consciousness to be engaging, readable, and thought-provoking, and the book is therefore recommended."--Philip T. Yanos, PsycCRITIQUES

"Blackburn's wide-ranging, engaging, and deeply thoughtful volume is admirable for many reasons, but above all else, one hopes, it is a tool to help liberate the human imagination."--Troy Jollimore, Philosophers' Magazine


"With his hallmark clarity, lucidity, and accessibility, Blackburn gives us a remarkable set of insights into a highly significant yet too-little explored area of ethical concern. This is important and original philosophy, beautifully done."--A. C. Grayling, author of The Good Book: A Humanist Bible

"A wise, witty, and rewarding read."--Patricia S. Churchland, author of Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain

"A lively philosophical commentary on a topic of immediate cultural concern, Mirror, Mirror presents a biting critique of narcissism and other vices of the overinflated self. Simon Blackburn brings the issues to life with his customary irreverence and energy: he's alert to their moral and cultural significance, has a keen eye for the ridiculous, and wears his learning lightly."--Rae Langton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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File created: 8/16/2017

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