Anger and Forgiveness

Anger and Forgiveness : Resentment, Generosity, and Justice

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We live in a culture of apology and forgiveness. But while there are a few thinkers who are critical of forgiveness as being too supine, and extol the virtues of retribution and 'getting even,' philosopher and intellectual Martha C. Nussbaum criticizes forgiveness from the other side: that in the realm of personal relations, forgiveness is at its heart inquisitorial and disciplinary.

In this volume based on her 2014 Locke Lectures, Nussbaum paints a startling new portrait that strips the notion of forgiveness down to its Judeo-Christian roots, where it was structured by the moral relationship between a score-keeping God and penitent, self-abasing, and erring mortals. The relationship between a wronged human and another is, she says, based on this primary God-human relationship. Nussbaum agrees with Nietzsche in seeing in forgiveness a displaced vindictiveness and a
concealed resentment that are ungenerous and unhelpful in human relations. She says forgiveness can give aid and comfort to a certain narcissism of resentment that a loving and generous person should eschew-in favor of a generosity that gets ahead of forgiveness and prevents its procedural thoughts from
taking place.

With a wide range of literary and classical references as background, Nussbaum pursues her penetrating and wide-ranging exploration of anger and forgiveness from the personal realm into the political, as well as into a so-called middle realm where we interact with people and groups who are not our close friends or family. A great deal of resentment toward others is in this middle realm, and she argues that the Stoics were right-we should try and understand how petty most slights are, and avoid
anger to begin with.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 165 x 242 x 30mm | 600g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199335877
  • 9780199335879
  • 59,324

Table of contents

I. Introduction: Furies into Eumenides
II. Anger: Weakness, Payback, Down-ranking
III. Forgiveness: A Genealogy
Appendix: Dies Irae
IV. Intimate Relationships: The Trap of Anger
V. The Middle Realm: Stoicism Qualified
VI. The Political Realm: Everyday Justice
VII. The Political Realm: Revolutionary Justice

Appendix A: Emotions and Upheavals of Thought
Appendix B: Anger and Blame
Appendix C: Anger and its Species
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Review quote

Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice is an outstanding work, one that manages to build on many threads of Nussbaum's previous scholarship while breaking new ground in a way that stands on its own. * Gregory R. Peterson, Journal of Moral Philosophy * In all, the work provides a key philosophical addition to her volumes on emotional development and political liberal justice... Her strict focus on leadership pronouncements rather than de facto psychological and sociological dynamics opens the analysis to charges of empirically inattentive moralizing. * Steven Schoonover, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities * The book is deeply thought-provoking and persuasive. * Stuart Jesson, Studies in Christian Ethics * A timely meditation on the place of anger in our private and public lives... [Nussbaum's] writing, as always, is erudite and engaging, and she uses it to craft a sharp lens through which students of politics can interpret current events. * Dan Degerman, Contemporary Political Theory * A very impressive, wide-ranging, much reflected-upon work of moral and political philosophy * Trevor Pateman, Philosophy Now * Quite aside from any polemic, ethically, Nussbaum's book helps reader to discern between populism in penology, and a theory of anger which leads to further understanding. * Maximiliano E. Korstanje, International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies * Nussbaum is one of the most productive and insightful thinkers of her generation ... She combines a philosopher's demand for conceptual clarity and rigorous thinking with a novelist's interest in narrative, art and literature. The result is an impressive body of work spanning the overlapping territories of politics, ethics and the emotions. * Julian Baginni, Prospect * Shame on us for accepting anger and good on Nussbaum for calling us out. * Alice Bloch, New Humanist * In her impressively rich book on anger and forgiveness, Martha Nussbaum provides a broad and deep critique of score-keeping in general and of moral and legal score-keeping in particular. * David Heyd, Criminal Justice Ethics * Nussbaum is a connoisseur of emotions * VN *
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About Martha C. Nussbaum

Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School, the Philosophy Department, and the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Author of OUP titles Love's Knowledge, Sex and Social Justice, Philosophical Interventions; others; as well as Not for Profit (Princeton 2010), Upheavals of Thought (CUP 2003), Creating Capabilities
(Harvard 2011), Frontiers of Justice (Harvard 2010), among others.
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Rating details

357 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 28% (99)
4 46% (163)
3 21% (76)
2 3% (10)
1 3% (9)
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