LGRP Talk: Mattia Riccardi (Porto) "Resentment and ressentiment: not so different after all"
Philosophers offer two strikingly different views of resentment. The first one—the Positive View—states that resentment tracks wrongs directed at ourselves, which implies that common practices such as ascribing responsibility, demanding apologies, etc., all depend on this emotion (Strawson 1962 is the contemporary locus classicus). The second one—the Negative View—considers resentment as a quasi-pathological and therefore normatively unwarranted form of envious hatred. The main source of this view is Nietzsche’s Genealogy. One way to react to this clash of views is by concluding that they do not talk about the same thing. As Nietzsche uses the French term ressentiment, this solution is sometimes couched as follows: resentment and ressentiment are essentially different psychological phenomena (the disunity of resentment claim). In my paper I will argue for the opposite view to the effect that there is no essential difference between resentment and ressentiment (the unity of resentment claim). To show this, I will critically review some of the arguments in support of the disunity of resentment claim (focusing on Darwall’s paper “Ressentiment and Second-Personal Resentment”) and articulate my own unity of resentment claim.