In this thesis, I inquire about what it means to be in a relationship with oneself. This project centers on how we ought to engage with ourselves as individuals on topics relating to issues of self-love, self-worth, and self-care.

This Independent Study is divided into three parts. The first addresses the relationship we ought to cultivate with ourselves as individuals and is supported through Aristotle’s notion of philia and friendship. With assistance from Julia Annas, I clarify the relationship between virtue and self-love, and how self-love ought not to be warranted for instrumental reasons.

The second explores the intrinsic arguments and interests associated with respect for persons. By examining two of Hill’s essays, I present arguments against servility and formulations regarding self-respect. This section also explores the Kantian undertones throughout arguments of respect for persons. This section addresses the roles of moral worth and dignity through Carol Hay’s arguments. Both Hill and Hay clarify intrinsic arguments for self-love.

The third builds upon prior Aristotelian, Kantian, and moral philosophical traditions by contextualizing how an account of self-love functions as a form of self-respect by one’s acknowledgment of their kalon. Additionally, this chapter solidifies the position I take on self-love by addressing the intersections between self-hatred, self-love, and self-indulgence through an Aristotelian reconstruction of virtue.

Each chapter contributes to an ethical and moral inquiry regarding treatment towards oneself. Ultimately, I argue against contemporary interpretations of self-love. Rather, I propose self-love is a virtue between two extremes of self-hatred and self-indulgence.


Schiltz, Elizabeth




Applied Ethics | Other Philosophy


self-love, self-hatred, self-indulgence, Aristotle, Kant, moral philosophy, self-care, self-respect, moral dignity, Virtue Ethics, Kantian Ethics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Colleen E. Gilfether