The Aptness of Envy

American Journal of Political Science 1 (1):1-11 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Are demands for equality motivated by envy? Nietzsche, Freud, Hayek, and Nozick all thought so. Call this the Envy Objection. For egalitarians, the Envy Objection is meant to sting. Many egalitarians have tried to evade the Envy Objection.. But should egalitarians be worried about envy? In this paper, I argue that egalitarians should stop worrying and learn to love envy. I argue that the persistent unwillingness to embrace the Envy Objection is rooted in a common misunderstanding of the nature of the charge, what it reveals, and what can be said in response to it. I develop what Bernard Williams might call a vindicatory genealogy of envy, thereby allowing us to see that envy, rather than undermining egalitarian intuitions, can in fact play a distinct justificatory role (when it is fitting), which undermines the Envy Objection.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

104 (#74,963)

6 months
104 (#20,004)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?