‘I'm not envious, I'm just jealous!’: On the Difference Between Envy and Jealousy

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
I argue for the view that envy and jealousy are distinct emotions, whose crucial difference is that envy involves a perception of lack while jealousy involves a perception of loss. I start by noting the common practice of using ‘envy’ and ‘jealousy’ almost interchangeably, and I contrast it with the empirical evidence that shows that envy and jealousy are distinct, albeit similar and often co-occurring, emotions. I then argue in favor of a specific way of understanding their distinction: the view that envy is a response to a perceived lack of a valuable object, while jealousy is a response to a perceived loss of a valuable object. I compare such a view with the most compelling alternative theories, and show that it accounts better for paradigmatic cases. I conclude by showing how the lack vs. loss model can handle complications: ambiguous cases, that is, when it is epistemically unclear whether one experiences lack or loss; hybrid cases, that is, when one seems to experience both lack and loss; and borderline cases, that is, when it is metaphysically unclear whether one experiences lack or loss.
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-07-10
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Varieties of Envy.Sara Protasi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):535-549.
Comprehending Envy.Smith, Richard & Kim, Sung Hee
Deadly Vices.Taylor, Gabriele

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Envy and Us.Salice, Alessandro & Sánchez, Alba Montes

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
401 ( #10,830 of 50,258 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
85 ( #6,006 of 50,258 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.