Is Contempt Redeemable?

  • Ronald de Sousa University of Toronto
Keywords: contempt, moral emotions, reactive attitudes, intentional objects, love

Abstract

In this essay, I will focus on the two main objections that have been adduced against the moral acceptability of contempt: the fact that it embraces a whole person and not merely some deed or aspect of a person’s character, and the way that when addressed to a person in this way, it amounts to a denial of the very personhood of its target.

References

Abramson, Kate. 2010. “A Sentimentalist Defense of Contempt, Shame and Disdain.” In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion, ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Clarendon Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235018.003.0009

Aristotle. 1984. “Nicomachean Ethics.” In The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, ed. Jonathan Barnes. Bollingen Series. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bell, Macalester. 2013. Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794140.001.0001

D’Arms, Justin, and Daniel Jacobson. 2000. “The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ‘Appropriateness’ of Emotion.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61: 65-90. DOI: 10.2307/2653403. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2653403

Darwall, Stephen I. 1977. “Two Kinds of Respect.” Ethics 88 (1): 36-49. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/292054

______. 2006. The Second Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

de Sousa, Ronald. 1971. “How to Give a Piece of Your Mind, or the Logic of Belief and Assent.” Review of Metaphysics 25: 51-79.

______. 1987. The Rationality of Emotion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, a Bradford Book.

Deonna, Julien, Raffaele Rodogno, and Fabrice Teroni. 2011. In Defense of Shame. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793532.001.0001

Harari, Yuval Noah. 2014. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. New York: Harper.

Harman, Gilbert. 1967. “Detachment, Probability, and Maximum Likelihood.” Noûs 1 (4, December): 401-11. DOI: 10.2307/2214626. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2214626

Hill, Thomas E. 2000. “Must Respect Be Earned?” In Respect, Pluralism, and Justice: Kantian Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/0198238347.001.0001

Houston, Barbara. 1992. “In Praise of Blame.” Hypatia 7 (2): 128-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1527-2001.1992.tb00722.x

Hume, David. [1777] 1975. Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Kristjánsson, Kristján. 2002. Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealousy. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203165881

Mason, Michelle. 2003. “Contempt as a Moral Attitude.” Ethics 113 (January): 224-72. DOI: 10.1086/342860. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/342860

Miller, William I. 1995. “Upward Contempt.” Political Theory 23 (3): 476-99. https://doi.org/10.1177/0090591795023003004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0090591795023003004

Minchin, Tim. 2009. “Storm.” In Are You Ready for This? Http://www.lyricsmania.com/storm_lyrics_tim_minchin.html.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1967. On the Genealogy of Morals. Ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann. Trans. R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Random House, Vintage.

Phillips, Adam. 2015. “Against Self-Criticism.” London Review of Books 37 (5 March).

Soniak, Matt. 2013. “Plight of the Living Dead: 10 Case Reports of Cotard’s Syndrome.” Mental Floss. http://mentalfloss.com/article/50197/plight-living-dead-10-case-reports-cotard%E2%80%99s-syndrome.

Strawson, P. F. 1962. “Freedom and Resentment.” Proceedings of the British Academy 48: 187-211.

Tappolet, Christine, Fabrice Teroni, and Anita Konzelmann Ziv, eds. 2018. Shadows of the Soul: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Emotions. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315537467

Velleman, David. 1999. “Love as a Moral Emotion.” Ethics 109: 338-74. DOI: 10.1086/233898. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/233898

Published
2020-01-31
How to Cite
de Sousa, Ronald. 2020. “Is Contempt Redeemable?”. Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 1 (1), 23-43. https://doi.org/10.33497/jpe.v1i1.10.