Contempt as an Other-Characterizing, "Hierarchizing" AttitudeStephen Darwall (Yale University)
Jim Potter Room, Old Physics
The University of Melbourne
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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