Anger and forgiveness resentment generosity justice pdf

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anger and forgiveness resentment generosity justice pdf

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Published 13.01.2019

The way to let go of resentment towards others

Martha Nussbaum: Anger and forgiveness: resentment, generosity, justice

Account Options Sign in. Top charts. New arrivals. Nussbaum April 1, Anger is not just ubiquitous, it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond an injury without anger.

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And yet the dance of anger and forgiveness, performed to the uncontrollable rhythm of trust, is perhaps the most difficult in human life, as well as one of the oldest. The moral choreography of that dance is what philosopher Martha Nussbaum explores in Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice public library. Anger is an unusually complex emotion, since it involves both pain and pleasure [because] the prospect of retribution is pleasant… Anger also involves a double reference—to a person or people and to an act… The focus of anger is an act imputed to the target, which is taken to be a wrongful damage. Injuries may be the focus in grief as well. Anger, then, requires causal thinking, and some grasp of right and wrong.

Regardless of one's circumstances, anger, the emotion that "includes, conceptually, not only the idea of a serious wrong […], but also the idea that it would be a good thing if the wrongdoer suffered some bad consequences" Nussbaum 5 , is normatively problematic. This is one central idea in Martha Nussbaum's thorough analysis of anger and its possible counterpart, forgiveness. In her recent volume, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice , she points to two general paths of anger. The first one, "the road of payback, makes the mistake of thinking that the suffering of the wrongdoer somehow restores […] the important thing that was damaged" 5. The second, the road of status, assumes that the victim sees the injury as about relative status. Thus, it seems that it may make sense to believe that harming the wrongdoer would lower his status and would thus achieve results because it would reposition the status of the victim. However, Nussbaum believes that this path is also normatively problematic because it exclusively focuses on one's status--a "type of obsessive narrowness" 6 that is to be discouraged.

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  1. Frédérique D. says:

    Martha Craven Nussbaum [a] born is an American philosopher and the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago , where she is jointly appointed in the law school and the philosophy department.

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