Amour-Propre Analysis

883 Words4 Pages
Rousseau’s Amour-propre in the Inclination to Publicize the Private Confessionals that disclose the innermost self can be described as a Romantic expression- Romantic in the way Rousseau is a Romantic. Rousseau has established the Romantic paradigm: “the recounting of the history of the self so that the self can concurrently create itself in writing and affirm that self it has created” (Gutman 108). Central to Romantic confessions is Rousseau 's concept of amour-propre. Neuhouser defines amour-propre by differentiating it from amour de soi. Amour de soi focuses on "self-preservation," whereas amour-propre refers to the aspiration of being regarded in terms of "merit and honor" (Neuhouser 30). Amour-propre connects to the tendency of publicizing…show more content…
People have amour-propre if they seek respect as human beings relative others (Neuhouser 33). An example is a vlogger mom who practices natural living and connects with fellow mothers online. She exists in connection with the value that her audience ascribes to her. Essentially, relativity refers to being recognized through interacting with fellow beings (Neuhouser 33). Socialization is essential to amour-propre. Neuhouser describes this as esteem that comes from the outside (34). To achieve "the sentiment of one 's own existence" (Neuhouser 35), "amour-propre both presupposes and develops: the ability to step outside one’s own perspective in order to see oneself from the point of view of another" (Neuhouser 36). The technology of the self pertains to leaving one’s self to learn about it from others. As part of the vlogger mom’s audience, a fellow mother posts messages expressing her opinions about the vlogger’s confessions and adding her own experiences. Owing to these inter-exchanges, amour-propre hails from the self as the object from the eyes of others. Subsequently, if the person learns from others and achieves greater wisdom and happiness as a result, the self again becomes the subject. By seeing the self as the agent and the acted upon altogether, the self grows through the process of…show more content…
Another aspect of amour-propre in confessionals is the plasticity to know the self as the subject and the object. Rousseau describes amour-propre as artificial because it is an "inherently social passion [italics in original]” (38). In turn, the artificiality allows for malleability which means that self-conceptions are shapeable (Neuhouser 41). First, self-conceptions are products of historical and social circumstances, which make them variable. An uneducated wife in the eighteenth century would have a different confession about her social roles than a modern mother who has obtained a college education and enjoys basic rights and freedoms. Both women may see themselves differently as subjects and objects. Second, human beings retain free will by being capable of accepting or denying social conventions (Neuhouser 42). A mother who believes in natural living may go as far as eschewing vaccinations. Her artificiality is reinforced by parents who share the same beliefs as well as those who see her as an object to be despised for going against the social grain. Plasticity enables people to see themselves as malleable and changing with their subject and object selves interacting in the process. Amour-propre helps explain the tendency of publicizing private connoted content in new media usage through similarities in the main end plus the use of the technology of the self and plasticity so the self can insightfully study itself as the subject and the object. Rousseau’s

More about Amour-Propre Analysis

Open Document