Emulative envy and loving admiration

European Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Would you rather your friends, family, and partners envy you, or admire you, when you flourish? Many people would prefer to be admired, and so we often strive to tame our envy. Recently, however, Sara Protasi offered an intriguing defence of “emulative envy” which apparently improves us and our relationships, and is compatible with love. I find her account unconvincing, and defend loving admiration in this article. In Section 2, I summarize Protasi's nuanced account of envy. In Section 2, I argue that irrespective of how we analyze emotions in general we can argue that it is preferable to prioritize the cultivation of some emotions over others. In Section 4, I challenge Protasi's assumptions about the affinity between love and envy. My core argument is in Section 5 where I examine envy's impact on the envier, the envied, and relationships. Envy impedes an authentic relationship to the goods and goals in the envier's life, alienates the envied, and stifles joint-action. From all perspectives admiration typically fares better. After briefly considering the objection that admiration may impede love in Section 6, I conclude, in section seven, that admiration should be preferred to emulative envy in our intimate relationships.

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Sympathetic Joy.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-11.
Sympathetic Joy.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-11.

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