The Philosophy of Envy

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 15, 2021 - Philosophy - 260 pages
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Envy is almost universally condemned and feared. But is its bad reputation always warranted? In this book, Sara Protasi argues that envy is more multifaceted than it seems, and that some varieties of it can be productive and even virtuous. Protasi brings together empirical evidence and philosophical research to generate a novel view according to which there are four kinds of envy: emulative, inert, aggressive, and spiteful. For each kind, she individuates different situational antecedents, phenomenological expressions, motivational tendencies, and behavioral outputs. She then develops the normative implications of this taxonomy from a moral and prudential perspective, in the domain of personal loving relationships, and in the political sphere. A historical appendix completes the book. Through a careful and comprehensive investigation of envy's complexity, and its multifarious implications for human relations and human value, The Philosophy of Envy surprisingly reveals that envy plays a crucial role in safeguarding our happiness.

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About the author (2021)

Sara Protasi is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puget Sound. She has published essays on love, envy, beauty, pornography, and pedagogy.

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