Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):493-519 (2015)

Ryan West
Wake Forest University
Macalester Bell urges the cultivation of apt contempt as the best response to what she calls “the vices of superiority”. In this essay, I sketch two character profiles. The first—the ideal contemnor—paradigmatically answers the vices of superiority with contempt. The second—the ideal Christian neighbor—is marked by humility and love, and answers the vices of superiority in non-contemptuous ways. I argue that the latter character rivals the former as a fitting moral response to the vices of superiority. Furthermore, I argue that the two character profiles are incompatible, so one cannot jointly cultivate humble love and contempt. Given contempt's nastiness, and the alternative resources available for answering the vices of superiority, I suggest one should focus one's character-formation efforts on the cultivation of humility and love
Keywords humility  virtue  contempt  love  Macalester Bell  character
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12107
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The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.

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Anger and the Virtues: A Critical Study in Virtue Individuation.Ryan West - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):877-897.

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