How an Ideology of Pity Is a Social Harm to People with Disabilities

Social Philosophy Today 26:121-134 (2010)
Abstract
In academic philosophy and popular culture alike, pity is often framed as a virtue or the emotional underpinnings of virtue. Yet, people who are the most marginalized and, hence, most often on the receiving end of pity, assert that it is anything but an altruism. How can we explain this disconnect between an understanding of pity as a virtuous emotion versus a social harm? My paper answers this question by showing how pity is not only an emotion, but also a power relation. Using the ideas of Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew, I explain how pity is understood as harmful by the one pitied because he is acutely aware of how it obscures his unequal power relation to the pitier and denies the pitier’s role in creating this domination. This is all done with an eye toward what I see as the quintessential class of people who are harmed by pity: people with disabilities
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Social and Political Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1543-4044
DOI 10.5840/socphiltoday20102610
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,655
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Pity and Compassion as Social Virtues.Brian Carr - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (3):411-429.
Pity as a Moral Concept/The Morality of Pity.Felicia Ackerman - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):59-66.
Facing Disability with Resources From Aristotle and Nietzsche.Susan S. Stocker - 2002 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):137-146.
Compassion and Pity: An Evaluation of Nussbaum's Analysis and Defense.M. Weber - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):487 - 511.
Hume's Theory of Pity and Malice.Samuel C. Rickless - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2):324 - 344.
An Analysis of Prudential Value.Stephen M. Campbell - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (03):334-54.
Art and Negative Affect.Aaron Smuts - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):39-55.
Employment and People with Disabilities.Mari Kondo - 2007 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:174-178.
When Choosing the Traits of Children is Hurtful to Others.Timothy Murphy - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (2):105-108.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-12-02

Total downloads

44 ( #116,607 of 2,158,196 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #65,193 of 2,158,196 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums