The Moral Self addresses the question of how morality enters into our lives. Pauline Chazan draws upon psychology, moral philosophy and literary interpretation to rebut the view that morality's role is to limit desire and control self-love. Preserving the ancients' connection between what is good for the self and what is morally good, Chazan argues that a certain kind of care for the self is central to moral agency.
Her intriguing argument begins with a critical examination of the views of Hume, Rousseau and Hegel. The constructive part of the book takes a more unusual turn by synthesising the work on the analyst Heinz Kohut and Aristotle into Chazan's own positive account, which is then illustrated by the use of Russian literature.