Can it Be or Feel Right to Hate? On the Appropriateness and Fittingness of Hatred
Keywords:hatred, moral hatred, morality of emotions, antagonistic emotions, reality of evil, dehumanization, emotional fittingness, theory of values, affective intentionality, corporate and group agents
What exactly is wrong with hating others? However deep-seated the intuition, when it comes to spelling out the reasons for why hatred is inappropriate, the literature is rather meager and confusing. In this paper, I attempt to be more precise by distinguishing two senses in which hatred is inappropriate, a moral and a non-moral one. First, I critically discuss the central current proposals defending the possibility of morally appropriate hatred in the face of serious wrongs or evil perpetrators and show that they are all based on a problematic assumption, which I call the ‘reality of evil agents assumption’. I then turn to the issue of non-moral emotional appropriateness and sketch a novel, focus-based account of fittingness. Next, I outline the distinctive affective intentionality of hatred, suggesting that hatred, unlike most other antagonistic emotions, has an overgeneralizing and indeterminate affective focus. Against this background, I argue that hatred cannot be fitting. Due to the indeterminacy of its focus, hatred fails to pick out those evaluative features of the intentional object that would really matter to the emoters. I close with some tentative remarks on the possibility of appropriate hatred towards corporate or group agents.
Ahmed, Sara (2004/2014), The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
An, Dong; Chen, Kaiyuan (2021), “Jokes Can Fail to be Funny because they are
Immoral: The Incompatibility of Emotions”, Philosophical Psychology 34 (3) (2021), 374–396.
Aristotle (1991), The Complete Works of Aristotle. Vol 2. The Revised Oxford Translation, Jonathan Barnes (ed.), Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ballard, Brian Scott (2021), “Content and the Fittingness of Emotion”, The Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4): 845–863.
Brady, Michael S. (2013), Emotional Insight. The Epistemic Role of Emotional Experience, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brogaard, Berit (2020), Hatred. Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brudholm, Thomas (2008), Resentment’s Virtue: Jean Améry and the Refusal to Forgive, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
—. (2020), “What is Hate?”, in Robert J. Sternberg (ed.), Perspectives on Hate: How It Originates, Develops, Manifests, and Spreads, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Brudholm, Thomas; Johansen Schepelern, Birgitte (2018), “Pondering Hatred”, in Thomas Brudholm, Johannes Lang (eds.), Emotions and Mass Atrocity: Philosophical and Theoretical Explorations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 81–103.
Cvejić, Igor (2021), “Some Remarks on Unfocused Hatred: Identity of the Hated One and Criteria of Adequacy”, Philosophy and Society 32 (3): 377–386.
D’Arms, Justin; Jacobson, Daniel (2000a), “The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ‘Appropriateness’ of Emotions”, Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 51 (1), 65–90.
—. (2000b), “Sentiment and Value”, Ethics 110 (4), 722–748.
—. (2000c), “Sentimental Values and the Instability of Affect”, in Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotions, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 585–613.
—. (2006), “Anthropocentric Constraints on Human Value”, in R. Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 99–126.
Deonna, Julien A.; Teroni, Fabrice (2012), The Emotions. A Philosophical Introduction, London, New York: Routledge.
—. (forthcoming), “Which Attitudes for the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value?”, Theoria. doi:10.1111/theo.12333.
Elster, Jon (2004), Closing the Books. Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gilbert, Margaret (2013), Joint Commitment: How We Make the Social World, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hadreas, Peter (2007), A Phenomenology of Love and Hate, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Haslam, Nick; Murphy, Sean C. (2020), “Hate, Dehumanization, and ‘Hate’”, in R. S. Sternberg (ed.), Perspectives on Hate: How It Originates, Develops, Manifests, and Spreads, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 27–41.
Helm, Bennett W. (2001), Emotional Reason: Deliberation, Motivation, and the Nature of Value, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
—. (2009), “Emotions as Evaluative Feelings”, Emotion Review 1 (3): 248–255.
—. (2017), Communities of Respect. Grounding Responsibility, Authority, and Dignity, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hochschild, Arlie R. (1983), The Managed Heart. Commercialization of Human Feeling, Berkley: University of California Press.
—. (2016), Strangers in their Own Land. Anger and Mourning on the American Right, New York: The Free Press.
Jacobson, Daniel (2011), “Fitting Attitude Theories of Value”, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fitting-attitude-theories/
Kolnai, Aurel (1936 ), Ekel, Hochmut, Haß: Zur Phänomenologie feindlicher Gefühle, Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Landweer, Hilge (2020), “Aggressive Emotions: From Irritation to Hatred, Contempt and Indignation”, in Thomas Szanto, Hilge Landweer (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotions, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 441–454.
List, Christian; Pettit, Philip (2011), Group Agency. The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Manne, Kate (2017), Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Murphy, Jeffrey G. (2016), “A Word on Behalf of Good Haters”, The Hedgehog Review 18 (2): 90–98.
Murphy, Jeffrey G.; Hampton, Jean (1988), Forgiveness and Mercy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Naar, Hichem (forthcoming), “The Fittingness of Emotions“, Synthese.
Osler, Lucy; Szanto, Thomas (2021), “Political Emotions and Political Atmospheres”, in Dylan Trigg (ed.), Shared Emotions and Atmospheres, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 162–188.
Russell, Luke (2006), “Evil-Revivalism vs. Evil-Skepticism”, The Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (1): 89–105.
Salmela, Mikko (2014), True Emotions, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Scheler, Max (1913/1926), Wesen und Formen der Sympathie, Gesammelte Werke, Vol. 7., Bonn: Bouvier 2005. [The Nature of Sympathy. Trans. by P. Heath. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1954.]
—. (1912/1919), „Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen“, in Max Scheler, Vom Umsturz der Werte: Abhandlungen und Aufsätze. Gesammelte Werke 3. Bonn: Bouvier. [Ressentiment. Transl. by L. A. Coser. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press 1994.]
Schmid, Hans Bernhard (2020), “Hatred of Evil”, in Thomas Szanto, Hilge Landweer (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotions, London, New York: Routledge.
Szanto, Thomas (2014), “How to Share a Mind: Reconsidering the Group Mind Thesis”, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1): 99–120.
—. (2015), “Collective Emotions, Normativity and Empathy: A Steinian Account”, Human Studies 38 (4): 503–527.
—. (2020), “In Hate We Trust: On the Habitualization and Collectivization of Hatred”, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3), 453–480.
—. (2021), „Hass und die negative Dialektik affektiver Herabsetzung“, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 69 (3): 422–437.
—. (forthcoming), “Sacralizing Hostility: Fanaticism as a Group-Based Affective Mechanism”, in Michael Staudigl, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Leo Townsend, Ruth Rebecca Tietjen (eds.), Confronting Fanaticism. Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, London, New York: Routledge.
Szanto, Thomas; Slaby, Jan (2020), “Political Emotions”, in Thomas Szanto, Hilge Landweer (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotions, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 478–492.
Vendrell Ferran, Íngrid (forthcoming), “Hate: Toward a Four-Types Model”, Review of Philosophy and Psychology. doi.org/10.1007/s13164-021-00568-z
Wallace, R. Jay (2019), “Trust, Anger, Resentment, Forgiveness: On Blame and its Reasons”, European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3): 537–555.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Filozofija i društvo / Philosophy and Society
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Articles published in Philosophy and Society are open-access in accordance with the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License.