Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (2):117-135 (2018)

Authors
Kathryn J. Norlock
Trent University
Abstract
Philosophers generally prescribe against complaining, or endorse only complaints directed to rectification of the circumstances. Notably, Aristotle and Kant aver that the importuning of others with one’s pains is effeminate and should never be done. In this paper, I reject the prohibition of complaint. The gendered aspects of Aristotle’s and Kant’s criticisms of complaint include their deploring a self-indulgent "softness" with respect to pain, yielding to feelings at the expense of remembering one’s duties to others and one’s own self-respect. I argue that complaining may also take the form of mindful attention to shared suffering. A complainer may observe affective duties, such as commiseration and invitations to disclose pains. Against more contemporary views that justify only constructive complaints directed to change, I suggest that quotidian, unconstructive complaining sometimes fulfills important social functions, including the amelioration of loneliness and affective solidarity, for the sake of others as well as oneself.
Keywords complaining  complaint  affective duties  commiseration  Aristotle  Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1163/17455243-20170004
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Depression, Intercorporeality, and Interaffectivity.Thomas Fuchs - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8):7-8.
Self-Respect and Protest.Bernard R. Boxill - 1976 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (1):58-69.
Recognition.Axel Honneth & Avishai Margalit - 2001 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75:111 - 139.
Recognition.Axel Honneth & Avishai Margalit - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 75:111-139.
The Rationality of Valuing Oneself: A Critique of Kant on Self-Respect.Cynthia A. Stark - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (1):65-82.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Microaggressions: A Kantian Account.Ornaith O’Dowd - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1219-1232.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Entitled to complain.Daniel Lyons - 1966 - Analysis 26 (4):119.
Entitled to Complain.Daniel Lyons - 1966 - Analysis 26 (4):119 - 122.
Complaints About Entitled To Complain.Marvin Schiller - 1967 - Analysis 28 (October):27-29.
Toynbee and His Critics.G. A. Birks - 1950 - Philosophy 25 (95):336 - 340.
The Assumption of Risk Argument.Leo Katz - 1990 - Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (2):138.
Cicero, Cato Maior II. 4.H. C. Nutting - 1925 - Classical Quarterly 19 (2):106-107.
Aeschylus, Agamemnon 555–62.A. J. Beattie - 1956 - Classical Quarterly 6 (1-2):26-.
Notes on Sophocles' Electra.A. D. Fitton Brown - 1956 - Classical Quarterly 6 (1-2):38-.
Some Thinking About Thinking.J. F. M. Hunter - 1987 - Philosophical Investigations 10 (2):118-133.
Abstract Morality, Concrete Cases: Stephen R. L. Clark.Stephen R. L. Clark - 1987 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 22:35-53.
Linguistic Diversity.Colin Yallop - 1993 - Philosophia Reformata 58 (2):113-119.
Personal Identity and the Imagination.P. T. Mackenzie - 1983 - Philosophy 58 (224):161 - 174.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-17

Total views
999 ( #5,337 of 2,454,442 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
106 ( #5,690 of 2,454,442 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes