Summary of How to Tell If You’re a Jerk

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How to Tell If You’re a Jerk summary
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Everyone can be a “jerk” sometimes, but some people are better at it than others. Author, blogger and philosophy professor Eric Schwitzgebel takes a light-hearted look at the weighty and familiar personality commonly known as a jerk. Schwitzgebel shares insightful anecdotes backed by academic studies to define what makes someone a jerk, to explain the mind-set of jerks and to help everyone reduce their level of “jerkitude.” getAbstract recommends this article to readers who suspect they might not be as lovable as they hope.

About the Author

Eric Schwitzgebel is an author and professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He blogs at The Splintered Mind and his latest book is Perplexities of Consciousness.



Since being a “jerk” isn’t “straightforwardly observable” or “evaluatively neutral,” it is difficult to know if you are one. In you’re trying to become more self-aware, and consequently change any negative behaviors you identify, knowing if and how much of a jerk you are presents a serious challenge. After all, no one wants to admit that they’re “self-important.” Furthermore, there are many different ways to be a jerk, so it’s a difficult trait to define succinctly.

What makes matters worse is that traits of jerks match some...

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