Laura Silva
University of Geneva
In this article I argue that characterizations of anger as a hostile emotion may be mistaken. My project is empirically informed and is partly descriptive, partly diagnostic. It is descriptive in that I am concerned with what anger is, and how it tends to manifest, rather than with what anger should be or how moral anger is manifested. The orthodox view on anger takes it to be, descriptively, an emotion that aims for retribution. This view fits well with anger being a hostile emotion, as retribution is punitive. I will argue that a different view of anger deserves our attention. On this alternative view, anger aims for recognition of harms done, rather than for the punishment of those who have committed them. I argue that we have reason to favour a strong view that excludes retribution from anger’s main aims. In addition, I offer a diagnosis of the reasons that led the retributive view of anger to become, and remain, orthodoxy. This diagnosis provides indirect reason to give my descriptive proposal serious consideration, for it highlights that the orthodox view has dominated folk and philosophical conceptions of anger for reasons that do not speak in favour of the view’s veracity. The view that anger is a hostile emotion will therefore emerge as in need of serious scrutiny.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13164-021-00557-2
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
External links

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

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Emotions, Value, and Agency.Christine Tappolet - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Action, Emotion And Will.Anthony Kenny - 1963 - Ny: Humanities Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Ineffable as Radical.Laura Silva - 2022 - In Christine Tappolet, Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni (eds.), A Tribute to Ronald de Sousa. Geneva:

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Characteristics of Anger: Notes for a Systems Theory of Emotion.Michael Potegal - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):215-216.
Anger and Morality.Benoît Dubreuil - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):475-482.
Virtuous Anger?William Mattison - 2004 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 24 (1):159-179.
Forgiveness and the Multiple Functions of Anger.Antony G. Aumann & Zac Cogley - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 1 (1):44-71.
Virtuous and Vicious Anger.Bommarito Nicolas - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (3):1-28.
The Moral Psychology of Anger.Myisha Cherry & Owen Flanagan (eds.) - 2017 - London: Rowman & Littlefield.
A Study of Virtuous and Vicious Anger.Zac Cogley - 2014 - In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices. Oxford University Press. pp. 199.
The Epistemology of Anger in Argumentation.Moira Howes & Catherine Hundleby - 2018 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 5 (2):229-254.
The Domestication of Anger: The Use and Abuse of Anger in Politics.Peter Lyman - 2004 - European Journal of Social Theory 7 (2):133-147.
Plato on the Role of Anger in Our Intellectual and Moral Development.Marta Jimenez - 2020 - In Laura Candiotto & Olivier Renaut (eds.), Emotions in Plato. Brill. pp. 285–307.
The Errors and Limitations of Our “Anger-Evaluating” Ways.Myisha Cherry - 2018 - In Myisha Cherry & Owen Flanagan (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Anger. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 49-65.
Great Anger.Anthony Cunningham - 2005 - The Dalhousie Review 85 (3).


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #183,292 of 2,519,856 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #40,959 of 2,519,856 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes