2 - Innocent Resentment, Sympathy, and Liberal Duty in Butler
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 October 2020
Although an Anglican bishop, Joseph Butler was the first thinker in the liberal tradition to argue that resentment could be morally justifiable, specifically when it was deliberate and sympathetically experienced on behalf of another person. Contrary to his egoist predecessors and also unlike eighteenth century theorists who took human sociability to be the product of our benevolent natures, Butler believed the resentments we adopted on behalf of those familiar to us were morally good motives for action and indeed the clearest evidence of our common humanity. Butler believed our sympathetic resentment was based on our belief in the equal status of victims, too. And, finally, Butler advanced a limited view of the nature and scope of our political duties, grounded in his moral psychology.
- Recognizing Resentment , pp. 46 - 64Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2020