Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealously

Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealously

Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealously

Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealously

Synopsis

The two central emotions of pride and jealousy have long been held to have no role in moral judgements, and have been a source of controversy in both ethics and moral psychology. Kristjan Kristjansson challenges this common view and argues that emotions are central to moral excellence and that both pride and jealousy are indeed ingredients of a well-rounded virtuous life.

Excerpt

Whenever people ask me 'When did you first become interested in emotions?', I give the pat answer 'Pretty soon after I was born'. This terse reply does not rest so much on platitudes about man being by birth a pondering animal, sparing no pains to dig out philosophical and scientific truths, as on a much simpler observation: Everybody is interested in the emotions for they constitute a core ingredient, if not the essence, of human life. However, the question should perhaps be understood in a narrower sense to mean 'When did you first become academically interested in emotions?' In that sense, a truthful response requires a piece of philosophical autobiography.

The development of my academic interest in the emotions coincided with a growing disillusionment with certain trends in contemporary political philosophy, the field to which I had devoted much of my academic attention since the completion of my doctorate. Consider a group of well-educated people of different nationalities or ethnicity sitting together in a street café, convincing each other - with mutually understandable arguments - of the essential impossibility of mutual understanding, and you have a striking, if a little over-simplified, image of much of what has been going on in political philosophy of late. Let it suffice here to say that such philosophy does not offer proper sustenance for one, such as the present author, who is an Aristotelian naturalist at heart, a universalist, and an inveterate believer in the 'Enlightenment Project'. Nor does its lack of serious engagement with foundational conceptual issues give satisfaction to one who considers the analytical way of doing philosophy the remnant of a certain passionate seriousness which has gradually been disappearing from many other 'traditions of inquiry'or - to use more fashionable jargon - 'discursive fields'.

Allow me to be even more personal here. I imagine that we are all familiar with the perennial question 'What book would you take with you if you had to stay for a year on a desert island?' Arguably, I answered that question for myself a few years ago, through action rather than words, when I chose a book to accompany me on a long journey. The destination was admittedly not a desert island, yet it was a place where experience had taught me that

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.