Ressentiment

Ethics (forthcoming)
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Abstract
In his On the Genealogy of Morality Nietzsche famously discusses a psychological condition he calls ressentiment, a form of toxic, vengeful anger. In this paper, I offer a free-standing theory in philosophical psychology of what is characteristic of this state. My view takes some inspiration from Nietzsche, but this paper will not be a work of exegesis. In the process of developing my account, I will try to chart the terrain around ressentiment and closely-related and sometimes overlapping states (ordinary moral resentment, envy, vengefulness, anger, and the like) and also seek to explain what’s ethically objectionable as well as psychologically pernicious about ressentiment. R essentiment, I shall contend in this paper, is not simply a ten dollar word substitutable for ‘resentment,’ though it is indeed a species of that genus. On the account I develop, the perception of being slighted, insulted, or demeaned figures centrally in cases of ressentiment.
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HUDR-9
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First archival date: 2019-05-14
Latest version: 2 (2020-11-03)
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2019-05-14

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