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The Southern Journal of Philosophy

Volume 47, Issue 3, Fall 2009

Matt Ferkany
Pages 263-283

Recognition, Attachment, and the Social Bases of Self-Worth

Recognition theorists have often sought to justify calls for the recognition of identities or cultures on grounds that a culturally egalitarian societal environment is a crucial social basis of a sense of self-worth. In doing so they have often drawn on noncognitivist social–psychological theorizing. This paper argues that this theorizing does not support the recognition theorist’s position. It is argued that attachment theory together with recent empirical evidence support a more attachment-focused and Rawlsian vision of self-worth’s social bases according to which secure parent–child attachment, associational ties, equal basic rights and liberties, and economic and educational opportunities are what really matter.

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