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Recognizing Resentment
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: October 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781108778473
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Book description

We typically think of resentment as an unjustifiable and volatile emotion, responsible for fostering the worst political divisions. Recognizing Resentment argues instead that sympathy with the resentment of victims of injustice is vital for upholding justice in liberal societies, as it entails recognition of the equal moral and political status of those with whom we sympathize. Sympathizing with the resentment of others makes us alive to injustice in a way no rational recognition of wrongs alone can, and it motivates us to demand justice on others' behalves. This book rehabilitates arguments for the moral and political worth of resentment developed by three influential thinkers in the early liberal tradition - Joseph Butler, David Hume, and Adam Smith - and uses these to advance a theory of spectatorial resentment, discussing why we should be indignant about the injustice others face, and how such a shared sentiment can actually bring liberal citizens closer together.

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