Contempt as a moral attitude

Ethics 113 (2):234-272 (2003)
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Abstract

Despite contemporary moral philosophers' renewed attention to the moral significance of emotions, the attitudinal repertoire with which they equip the mature moral agent remains stunted. One attitude moral philosophers neglect (if not disown) is contempt. While acknowledging the nastiness of contempt, I here correct the neglect by providing an account of the moral psychology of contempt. In the process, I defend the moral propriety of certain tokens of properly person-focused contempt against some prominent objections -- among them, objections stemming from Kantian worries that contempt is incompatible with the respect we owe to persons as such.

Author's Profile

Michelle Mason Bizri
University of Minnesota

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