Admiration, Affectivity, and Value: Critical Remarks on Exemplarity

Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18 (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

By spelling out the affective dimension of admiration, this paper challenges the view of admiration as a trustworthy means of detecting morally desirable qualities in exemplars. Such a view of admiration, foundational for the current debate on exemplars in moral education, holds that admiration is a self-motivating emotion essentially oriented toward the good and the excellent. I demonstrate that this view ignores the affective aspects of admiration explored widely in the history of philosophy on which the debate on moral exemplars substantially draws. Focusing on Spinoza, Smith, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, I bring to light their largely skeptical views of the moral value of admiration. These thinkers indicate that admiration can be influenced by, and is often conflated with, other emotions, and can arise in us through behavioral mimicry; moreover, admiration is often oriented toward the mediocre and corrupt, is contagious, self-referential, collective, and has limited motivational power. Their remarks on the affective dimension of admiration call into question admiration’s applicability and usefulness in moral exemplarity.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,213

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

Admiration, Attraction and the Aesthetics of Exemplarity.Ian James Kidd - 2019 - Journal of Moral Education 48 (3):369-380.
II—Nil Admirari? Uses and Abuses of Admiration.T. H. Irwin - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):223-248.
Admiration and Motivation.Alfred Archer - 2019 - Emotion Review 11 (2):140-150.
The Logic of Exemplarity.Jakub Mácha - forthcoming - Law and Literature (online first):1-15.
Some Problems About Affectivity.Michael Stocker - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):151-158.
Debating Exemplarity: The “Communis” in Sensus Communis.Alessandro Ferrara - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (2):146-158.
Admiration and the Admirable.Linda Zagzebski - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):205-221.
Selfhood, Passivity and Affectivity in Henry and Lévinas.László Tengelyi - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (3):401 - 414.
Reply to My Critics.Jerome Neu - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):159 - 171.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-03-01

Downloads
13 (#759,850)

6 months
3 (#209,359)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Wojciech Kaftanski
Harvard University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Emotions, Value, and Agency.Christine Tappolet - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Emotions, Values, and Agency.Christine Tappolet - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
Human, All Too Human.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references