The Things We Envy: Fitting Envy and Human Goodness

In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. OUP (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I argue that fitting envy plays a special role in safeguarding our happiness and flourishing. After presenting my theory of envy and its fittingness conditions, I contrast Kant’s view that envy is always unfitting with D’Arms and Jacobson’s defense of fitting envy as an evolutionarily-shaped response to a deep and wide human concern, that is, relative positioning. However, D’Arms and Jacobson don’t go far enough. First, I expand on their analysis of positional goodness, distinguishing between an epistemic claim, according to which we use implicit or explicit comparison to know what position we occupy in a continuum of goodness, and thus to form judgments of goodness, and a metaphysical one, according to which much human goodness depends on implicit or explicit rankings and positionality. Second, I argue that fitting envy is not only intrinsically valuable qua fitting response to authentic goodness, but can be epistemically, morally and prudentially valuable.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Happy Self-Surrender and Unhappy Self-Assertion: A Comparison between Admiration and Emulative Envy.Sara Protasi - 2019 - In Alfred Archer & André Grahle (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Admiration. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 45-60.
The Moral Value of Envy.Krista K. Thomason - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):36-53.
Invideo et Amo: on Envying the Beloved.Sara Protasi - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1765-1784.
Impersonal Envy and the Fair Division of Resources.Kristi A. Olson - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (3):269-292.
An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Value of Envy.Jens Lange & Sara Protasi - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
Envy as a Civic Emotion.Sara Protasi - 2022 - In Thom Brooks (ed.), Political Emotions: Towards a Decent Public Sphere. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Envy and Its Discontents.Timothy Perrine & Kevin Timpe - 2014 - In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices. Oxford University Press. pp. 225-244.
Varieties of Envy.Sara Protasi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):535-549.
Excusing Economic Envy: On Injustice and Impotence.Miriam Bankovsky - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (2):257-279.
The Relation of Envy to Distributive Justice.Harrison P. Frye - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (3):501-524.
Faith envy.Hermen Kroesbergen - 2020 - HTS Theological Studies 76 (4):1-8.
Envy's Non-Innocent Victims.Iskra Fileva - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 1 (1):1-22.
The Philosophy of Envy.Sara Protasi - 2021 - New York: Cambridge University Press.


Added to PP

264 (#72,081)

6 months
83 (#47,276)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sara Protasi
University of Puget Sound

Citations of this work

Value-First Accounts of Reasons and Fit.R. A. Rowland - 2023 - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. OUP.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Achievement.Gwen Bradford - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Varieties of Envy.Sara Protasi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):535-549.
Moral Reality.Paul Bloomfield - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Moral Value of Envy.Krista K. Thomason - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):36-53.

View all 8 references / Add more references