Born of Resentment: Yuan 怨 in Early Confucian Thought

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (1):19-33 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This essay explores the positive aspects of resentment in early Confucian thought. Specifically, it argues that from an early Confucian perspective, resentment is a frustration or anger that occurs when those close to us withhold their care or when they otherwise injure us. Stated succinctly, resentment is a result of frustrated desire for affection. It is a sign that we require the care of significant others, and that we are vulnerable to their concern or neglect. When understood appropriately, resentment signals genuine recognition of meaningful relationships; it is a sign that we are affected by those that ought to matter to us. Importantly, resentment has a creative dimension in that it can lead to the production of literature aimed to channel frustrated desire toward realizing the Confucian dao 道. These texts work to connect the author’s resentment with the reader’s possibility of remaking the world in a way desired by the author



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,468

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Collective Resentment.Katie Stockdale - 2013 - Social Theory and Practice 39 (3):501-521.
Virtues of Resentment.Rae Langton - 2001 - Utilitas 13 (2):255.
Equality, envy, and the sense of injustice.Richard Norman - 2002 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (1):43–54.
Articulate forgiveness and normative constraints.Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):1-25.
‘Hate the sin but not the sinner’: forgiveness and condemnation.Kelly Hamilton - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):114-123.
Recognition and Resentment in the Confucian Analects.Eric S. Nelson - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (2):287-306.
Resentment Rising.Jerome Neu - 2009 - Emotion Review 1 (1):31-32.
Supervision and the Logic of Resentment.Eugene Schlossberger - 2010 - Philosophy of Management 9 (2):65-80.
La caze on envy and resentment.Stan Van Hooft - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):141 – 147.
Unreasonable Resentments.Alice MacLachlan - 2010 - Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (4):422-441.
Forgiveness, resentment, and intentional agency.Anthony Marc Williams - 2011 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 19 (1):1-12.


Added to PP

44 (#302,915)

6 months
4 (#245,705)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Moral Anger in Classical Confucianism.Colin Lewis - 2020 - In Court Lewis & Gregory L. Bock (eds.), The Ethics of Anger. Lexington Books. pp. 131-154.
Virtue and the Good Life in the Early Confucian Tradition.Youngsun Back - 2018 - Journal of Religious Ethics 46 (1):37-62.
A Mencian Account of Resentment.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (9):e12870.

Add more citations