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If being insulted depends on expecting treatment or deference of a certain kind, may one avoid insult simply by lowering expectations? But then, is to expect nothing or too little to lack self-respect. Or might immunity from insult be the sign not of diminished self-respect, but of a heightened self-esteem or, in yet another alternative, of a special sense of what is essential to the “self” (as with Socrates, who felt assured that a good man could suffer no harm at the hands of a worse, his virtue being solely in his control and also being the only aspect of his self that really mattered)? Does the opinion of others properly count for nothing for the properly self-reliant and self-respecting individual? Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults

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