Critical Horizons 18 (2):154-167 (2017)

Bryan Lueck
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
In the early modern period, contempt emerged as a persistent theme in moral philosophy. Most of the moral philosophers of the period shared two basic commitments in their thinking about contempt. First, they argued that we understand the value of others in the morally appropriate way when we understand them from the perspective of the morally relevant community. And second, they argued that we are naturally inclined to judge others as contemptible, and that we must therefore interrupt that natural movement of sense-bestowal in order to value others in the morally appropriate way. In this paper I examine in detail the arguments of Nicolas Malebranche and Immanuel Kant concerning the wrongness of contempt, emphasizing the ways in which they depend on conceptions of community and of the interruption of moral sense-bestowal. After showing how each of these arguments fails to comprehend the nature and the wrongness of contempt, I argue that we can find the resources for a more adequate account in the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, and specifically in his reflections on ontology and on the meaning of community
Keywords contempt  community  Nicolas Malebranche  Immanuel Kant  Jean-Luc Nancy  Ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1080/14409917.2017.1293883
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Contempt and Moral Subjectivity in Kantian Ethics.Bryan Lueck - 2016 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 78 (2):305-327.
Contempt as a Moral Attitude.Michelle Mason - 2003 - Ethics 113 (2):234-272.
Shame and Contempt in Kant's Moral Theory.Krista K. Thomason - 2013 - Kantian Review 18 (2):221-240.
Wollstonecraft and the Political Value of Contempt.Ross Carroll - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (1):1474885115593762.
Contempt and the Cultivation of Character.Ryan West - 2015 - Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):493-519.


Added to PP index

Total views
250 ( #40,796 of 2,462,434 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
56 ( #15,059 of 2,462,434 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes