Amour Propre | 2015
9"x 12", Watercolor on Bristol
Amour-propre explores the concept in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that esteem depends upon the opinion of others. Rousseau contrasts it with amour de soi, which also means "self-love", but which does not involve seeing oneself as others see one. According to Rousseau, amour de soi is more primitive and is compatible with wholeness and happiness, while amour-propre is an unnatural form of self-love that arose only with the appearance of society and individuals' consequent ability to compare themselves with one another. Rousseau thought that amour-propre was subject to corruption, thereby causing vice and misery. The term generally refers to man's desire to satisfy his own needs and desires.