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Michelangelo_Caravaggio_065

Arthur Brooks discussing Narcissism in the New York Times:

To solve the problem, we have to understand it. Philosophy helps us do so every bit as well as psychology. The 18th-century French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote about “amour-propre,” a kind of self-love based on the opinions of others. He considered it unnatural and unhealthy, and believed that arbitrary social comparison led to people wasting their lives trying to look and sound attractive to others.

This would seem to describe our current epidemic. Indeed, in the Greek myth, Narcissus falls in love not with himself, but with his reflection. In the modern version, Narcissus would fall in love with his own Instagram feed, and starve himself to death while compulsively counting his followers.