David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (4):422-441 (2010)
How ought we to evaluate and respond to expressions of anger and resentment? Can philosophical analysis of resentment as the emotional expression of a moral claim help us to distinguish which resentments ought to be taken seriously? Philosophers have tended to focus on what I call ‘reasonable’ resentments, presenting a technical, narrow account that limits resentment to the expression of recognizable moral claims. In the following paper, I defend three claims about the ethics and politics of resentment. First, if we care about socially just processes of reconciliation, we have good reason to pay attention to the logic of resentments. Second, the account philosophers offer of resentment – its distinctive features, aims, rationality, and gratification – will affect the conclusions we draw about which actual resentments to take seriously, which aspects of resentful claims need addressing, and what it means to address and repair them. In contesting definitions of resentment, I argue, we do more than simply perform housekeeping in philosophical taxonomies of emotion. Restricting our understanding to essentially ‘moral’ cases may cause us to lose sight of expressly political resentments. Instead, I argue, a plausible account of resentment must acknowledge that we resent violations and threats that are not necessarily self-pertaining, may not be expressible as individual, discrete injuries, and cannot always be construed as moral threats. Second, given the dependence of moral judgments on a broader horizon of moral possibility, philosophical standards of ‘reasonable’ or ‘appropriate’ resentment cannot avoid being politically charged. Thus, the widely accepted account of ‘reasonable’ resentment cannot make philosophical sense of the most interesting and perplexing cases. Ironically, a theoretical measure designed to revalue emotional expressions of moral protest may result in the exclusion and silencing of those with the most reasons to protest.
|Keywords||Resentment Injustice Oppression Moral Emotions Political Emotions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Linda Martín Alcoff, Bat-Ami Bar On, Laura Cannon, Ann Ferguson, Marilyn Frye, Alison M. Jaggar, Alison Kafer, Jean Keller, Sarah Clark Miller, Michele Moody-Adams, Lisa Tessman & Shelley Wilcox (2005). Feminist Interventions in Ethics and Politics: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Macalester Bell (2009). Anger, Virtue, and Oppression. In Lisa Tessman (ed.), Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal. Springer. 165--183.
Christopher Bennett (2002). The Varieties of Retributive Experience. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):145-163.
Sue Campbell (1994). Being Dismissed: The Politics of Emotional Expression. Hypatia 9 (3):46 - 65.
Kimberle Crenshaw (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140:139-167.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Marguerite La Caze (2001). Envy and Resentment. Philosophical Explorations 4 (1):31 – 45.
Aaron Ben-Ze'ev (2002). Are Envy, Anger, and Resentment Moral Emotions? Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):148 – 154.
Alice MacLachlan (2010). Resentment and Moral Judgment in Smith and Butler. The Adam Smith Review 5:161-177.
Hanno Sauer (2011). The Appropriateness of Emotions. Moral Judgment, Moral Emotions, and the Conflation Problem. Ethical Perspectives 18 (1):107-140.
Stan Van Hooft (2002). La Caze on Envy and Resentment. Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):141 – 147.
Ernesto V. Garcia (2011). Bishop Butler on Forgiveness and Resentment. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (10).
John Ahier & John Beck (2003). Education and the Politics of Envy. British Journal of Educational Studies 51 (4):320 - 343.
Anne Thomson (1989). Emotional Origins of Morality ‐‐ A Sketch. Journal of Moral Education 18 (3):199-207.
Daniel O. Dahlstrom (2001). Love, Honor, and Resentment. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 11:179-192.
Margaret R. Holmgren (2012). Forgiveness and Retribution: Responding to Wrongdoing. Cambridge University Press.
Seth Shabo (2012). Where Love and Resentment Meet: Strawson's Intrapersonal Defense of Compatibilism. Philosophical Review 121 (1):95-124.
Millard Schumaker (1977). Moral Poise: Toward a Christian Ethic Without Resentment. St. Stephen's College.
Macalester Bell (2005). A Woman's Scorn: Toward a Feminist Defense of Contempt as a Moral Emotion. Hypatia 20 (4):80-93.
Stefano Tomelleri (2009). The Creativity of Resentment in Italian Society. World Futures 65 (8):589-595.
Sarah Moses (2009). "Keeping the Heart": Natural Affection in Joseph Butler's Approach to Virtue. Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (4):613-629.
Added to index2010-09-21
Total downloads158 ( #7,565 of 1,696,538 )
Recent downloads (6 months)67 ( #2,046 of 1,696,538 )
How can I increase my downloads?