Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Resentment: Resentment is a feeling of anger, bitterness, or displeasure in relation to other people, other groups or other nationalities. See also Prejudice, Nationalism Ideology, Group thinking, Group behavior.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

John Rawls on Resentment - Dictionary of Arguments

I 530
Resentment/Psychology/Society/Rawls: We assume that people are not influenced by psychological tendencies in the initial situation of a society to be established (in which no one knows their future position).
I 531
Psychology: only comes into consideration in a later stage. Disfavour can become a problem if the social differences have become very large due to the difference principle.
>Difference Principle/Rawls.
I 532
Resentment: we refer to interpersonal comparisons in the use of objective primary goods (e. g. freedoms, income, prosperity). The hostile contemplation of the larger shares of others would then be resentment, even if these differences do not imply any reduction of our own shares. Those who notice the resentment of others may develop a fear of attack. Thus, resentment reduces the benefits of all members of the community. An unfavourable person could also be tempted to take actions that make all those involved look worse, only to reduce the discrepancy between the worse-offs and the better-offs. Kant calls the resentment therefore a vice of hatred for mankind(1).
I 533
Since resentment is not a moral feeling, we do not need a moral principle to explain it. It is sufficient to note that the better situation of others attracts our attention.
Def Resentment/Rawls: On the other hand, it is a moral feeling. It is present when we think that the reason why we have less than others is either the result of unjust institutions or a misconduct on the part of the better-offs. Those who display resentment must be prepared to justify it and show why certain institutions of society work to their disadvantage or that others have cheated on them.
Resentment: differs from moral feelings by the perspective from which a situation is viewed.

1. Cf. I. Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, p. II, § 36.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Rawl I
J. Rawls
A Theory of Justice: Original Edition Oxford 2005

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