Envy and us

European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):227-242 (2018)
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Abstract

Within emotion theory, envy is generally portrayed as an antisocial emotion because the relation between the envier and the rival is thought to be purely antagonistic. This paper resists this view by arguing that envy presupposes a sense of us. First, we claim that hostile envy is triggered by the envier's sense of impotence combined with her perception that an equality principle has been violated. Second, we introduce the notion of â hetero-induced self-conscious emotionsâ by focusing on the paradigmatic cases of being ashamed or proud of somebody else. We describe envy as a hetero-induced self-conscious emotion by arguing that the impotence felt by the subject grounds the emotion's self-reflexivity and that the rival impacts the subject's self-assessment because the rival is framed by the subject as an in-group member. Finally, we elaborate on the asset at stake in envy. We contend that this is esteem recognition: The envier covets the esteem that her reference group accords to the rival. Because, in envy, the subject conceives of herself as member of a group to which the other is also understood to belong, we conclude that envy is a social emotion insofar as it presupposes a sense of us.

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Author Profiles

Alessandro Salice
University College Cork
Alba Montes Sánchez
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Citations of this work

Envy, self-esteem, and distributive justice.Vegard Stensen - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
Self-Esteem, Social Esteem, and Pride.Alessandro Salice - 2020 - Emotion Review 12 (3):193-205.
Herabsetzung, Selbstwertgefühl und Hass.Íngrid Vendrell Ferran - 2021 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 69 (3):409-421.
Envy and its objects.Alessandra Fussi - 2019 - Humana Mente 12 (35).

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The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.

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