Contempt as an Other-Characterizing, "Hierarchizing" Attitude
Stephen Darwall (Yale University)

March 8, 2018, 4:15pm - 6:15pm
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne

Jim Potter Room, Old Physics
The University of Melbourne
Melbourne 3010
Australia

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Abstract:

People frequently say they do not want others' pity, but welcome their compassion.  Why is this?  Pity essentializes the other and views them from a perspective of difference and superiority.  I argue that the same is true of contempt.  In a slogan: pity is to compassion as contempt is to moral blame.  Whereas compassion and blame identify with and relate to their objects second personally, pity and contempt view the other from a third-personal perspective of superiority.  Like recognition respect in constructing superior status (honor respect), performance contempt constructs lower status.  Contempt the attitude, is the attitude of which performance contempt performs an expression.

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