Contempt is a cross-cultural emotional response to norm violations, among them moral violations. As such, it is of tremendous personal and social significance. However, philosophical and psychological study of contempt lags far behind that of other emotional responses to norm violations, among them: anger, disgust, and shame. This volume is the first to bring together original work by leading philosophers and psychologists in an examination of the moral psychology of contempt. Its main objective is to at once advance the nascent literature on contempt and set the agenda for future research. The volume addresses important empirical questions concerning contempt’s function; its emotional, cognitive, and behavioral signatures; its interpersonal and intergroup consequences; conceptual questions concerning its content; and prescriptive questions concerning its moral warrant. It will prove a distinctive resource for advanced students and scholars of both empirical and normative moral psychology.
Introduction, Michelle Mason / 1. Contempt in Classical Moral Psychology, Michael Pakaluk / 2. Rejecting the Unworthy: The Causes, Components, and Consequences of Contempt, Ira Roseman / 3. Exploring Contempt Against the Background of Blame Bertram Malle, John Voiklis, and Boyoung Kim / 4. Contempt as a Dis-identifying Attitude Stephen Darwall / 5. Contempt in Arthurian Society and Ours Felicia Nimue Ackerman / 6., Contempt and Accountability Zac Cogley / 7. Contempt at the Limits of Reactivity, Michelle Mason / 8. Above and Beneath Contempt David Sussman / 9. Moral Self-Preservation and Contempt Kate Abramson / 10. Contempt, Honor, and Addressing Racism Macalester Bell / Bibliography / Index
Michelle Mason is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. Her main research interests and publications are in moral psychology, including the nature and moral significance of person-focused evaluative attitudes (contempt, shame, pride, and love) and the connections between aretaic and rational appraisal of persons as agents.