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Honor, History, and RelationshipEssays in Second-Personal Ethics II$
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Stephen Darwall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662609.001.0001

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Ressentiment and Second-Personal Resentment

Ressentiment and Second-Personal Resentment

(p.72) 4 Ressentiment and Second-Personal Resentment
Honor, History, and Relationship

Stephen Darwall

Oxford University Press

A central aspect of Nietzsche's critique of morality is that morality is born in ressentiment. Personal slights are felt as impersonal offenses — offenses by someone against someone — violations of a standing anyone has and that anyone can be held responsible for violating. This chapter argues that Nietzsche is right to see morality as tied distinctively to guilt and distinctively moral responsibility, but that there are significant differences between ressentiment and the second-personal resentment and other reactive attitudes that are conceptually implicated in morality. In Nietzsche's view, the ‘value’ of morality is compromised when ressentiment's retaliatory and destructive force is turned against the self: moral guilt involves a form of self-hatred. The chapter argues, however, that second-personal resentment expresses a reciprocal respect that differs fundamentally from any attitude that seeks to degrade, contemn, retaliate against, or otherwise devalue their objects.

Keywords:   ressentiment, Nietzsche, morality, responsibility, second-personal, respect

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