Virtues of Resentment

Utilitas 13 (2):255 (2001)

Authors
Rae Langton
Cambridge University
Abstract
On a consequentialist account of virtue, a trait is virtuous if it has good consequences, vicious if it has bad. Clumsiness and dimness are therefore vices. Should I resent the clumsy and the dim?, says the consequentialist, counterintuitively - at any rate, Yes’ on an accuracy measure of resentment's virtue: resentment should be an accurate response to consequentialist vice, and these are vices. On a usefulness measure of resentment's virtue, the answer may be different: whether resentment is virtuous depends on whether resentment itself is useful. Equally counterintuitive, this answer divorces resentment from assessment of vice. Consequentialism is thus mistaken not only about when resentment is virtuous, but about what resentment is. Moreover it alienates the philosopher, for whom accuracy applies, from the agent, for whom usefulness applies. But abandoning this double standard would mean giving up philosophy
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820800003162
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References found in this work BETA

Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories.Michael Stocker - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (14):453-466.

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