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Hard Feelings


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Moral Importance Of Contempt ; Chapter 1: What Is Contempt? ; 1.1 Contempt And Feeling Theories Of Emotion ; 1.2 Intentionality, Rationality, And Cognitive Theories Of ; Emotion ; 1.3 Contempt's Evaluative Presentation ; 1.4 Active And Passive Contempt ; 1.5 Contempt, Hatred And Disgust ; 1.5.1 Contempt And Disgust ; 1.5.2 Contempt And Hatred ; 1.6 Potential Problem Cases ; 1.6.1 Contempt For Non-Persons ; 1.6.2 Self-Contempt ; Chapter 2: Contempt As A Fitting Globalist Emotion ; 2.1 Can Contempt Ever Fit Its Target? ; 2.2 Defending Contempt Against The Fittingness Objection ; 2.3 Fitting Evaluative Prioritizations ; 2.4 Relationships, Fittingness, And Fitting Attitude ; Accounts Of Value ; Chapter 3: Contempt And The Vices Of Superiority ; 3.1 Superbia And Vices Of Superiority ; 3.2 Hypocrisy And Arrogance ; 3.3 Contempt As An Answer To Vices Of Superiority ; 3.4 Cowardice, Stupidity, And Lightheartedness ; Chapter 4: The Moral Value Of Contempt ; 4.1 Passive Contempt In Aristotle And Nietzsche ; 4.2 Contempt's Aptness Conditions ; 4.3 Contempt's Moral Value ; 4.3.1 Contempt's Instrumental Value ; 4.3.2 Contempt's Non-Instrumental Value ; 4.4 Challenges To An Ethic Of Contempt ; 4.4.1 Contempt's Globalism And Aptness ; 4.4.2 Respect-Based Arguments Against Contempt ; 4.4.3 Contempt And Comparisons ; 4.4.4 Withdrawal And Moral Address ; 4.5 Do We Have An Obligation To Contemn? ; Chapter 5: Contempt, Racism, And Civility's Limits ; 5.1. Contempt And Anti-Black Racism: The Case Of The ; Obama Bucks Cartoon ; 5.2 Race-Based Contempt As A Vice ; 5.3 Race-Based Contempt As Unfitting ; 5.4 Race-Based Contempt As Inapt ; 5.5 Contempt And Civility ; Chapter 6: Contempt, Forgiveness, And Reconciliation ; 6.1 A Problem With The Standard Account Of Forgiveness ; 6.2 The Fundamental Features Of Forgiveness ; 6.3 The Standard Account Of Our Reasons To Forgive ; 6.3.1 Repentance ; 6.3.2 Excuses And Good Intentions ; 6.4 Reasons To Overcome Contempt Through Forgiveness ; 6.4.1 Character Transformation ; 6.4.2 Shame ; 6.5 Do We Genuinely Forgive In Overcoming Contempt? ; 6.6 Contempt, Symbolic Reparations And Social ; Reconciliation ; Conclusion: "Contempt Is Not A Thing to Be Despised" ; Bibliography

About the Author

Macalester Bell is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and works in ethics and moral psychology. Her published papers take up fundamental questions concerning anger, blame, forgiveness, reparation, and inspiration.


Hard Feelings makes a substantial, valuable and timely contribution to the moral psychology literature and will be essential reading for anyone working on the nature or ethics of contempt. It is also likely to be of wider interest to those interested in moral philosophy more generally.
*Alfred Archer, The Philosophical Quarterly*

Highly recommended.
*S. J. Shaw, CHOICE*

In Hard Feelings, Macalester Bell defends the moral value of contempt. She argues that sometimes contempt is the best moral response. We ought to feel contempt when others manifest certain vices of character. Bell's arguments are sharp and clearly presented. She makes a persuasive case that contempt has been misunderstood in the literature.
*Jonathan Vanderhoek, Journal of Moral Philosophy*

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