Mirror Mirror (Simon Blackburn)

A book investigating all about the self from a philosophical stand point. I’ll be honest, not something I can just sit down and absorb in one sitting…or many sittings, but there are particular points that have interested me, and it’s still open as to whether this will feed in to my work or not, but learning about the Hubris Syndrome is fascinating, as well as a few other interesting thoughts from the book.

I was interested to learn that some versions of Buddhist/Hindu religions ‘ have ‘’anatto’’ or ‘’no self’’ traditions that deny reality of the self, and see this discovery as liberation from chains of self-concern and self-love that otherwise fetter us and weigh us down’ -potentially an interesting angle to look into

narcissism described by Kant as:

‘a foolishness that acts contrary to its own end’

Hubris and the Hubris Syndrome


p.69 – ‘Excessive self-confidence is easily engendered by early success, particularly if that success was achieved while acting against the advice of others’

p.69 – ‘All our personalities are refined by practice, and if nature unkindly gives us practice at trusting our own judgement above that of others, and at reaping success and applause because of it, she is sowing the seeds of eventual hubris. We are good at deceiving ourselves about our own merits, and only need to believe that we have done better than others to become satisfied that this is what we are like’

p.70 We also give different kid of attention to successes and to failures. The former are due to ourselves; the latter due to bad luck. Psychologists speak here of self-serving biases, or the self-attribution fallacy: the tendency to take personal credit for perceived successes while at the same time shingling off responsibility for apparent failures elsewhere. It was the situation, the bad advice of others, the inadequate instruments, the sheer bad luck’

p.72 There is also considerable overlap between the hubristic person and the charismatic.

self-esteem movement late 20th century





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