Distributed for Boston Review
Is anger eternal? Righteous? Reflections on the causes and consequences of an phenomenon critical to our intimate and public lives.
From Aristotle to Martha Nussbaum, philosophers have explored the moral status of anger. We get angry for a reason: we feel wronged. That reason can be eternal, some argue, because not even an apology or promise that it won't happen again can change the fact of the original harm. Although there are pragmatic reasons for ceasing to be angry and moving on, is eternal anger moral? Is anger righteous? In this collection, contributors consider these and other questions about the causes and consequences of anger.
Leading off the debate, philosopher Agnes Callard argues that anger is not righteous rage; it is not an effort to solve a problem. Instead, it reflects a cry for help—a recognition that something shared is broken. And only in acknowledging the value of that shared project, she argues, can we begin together to repair it. Anger, then, is a starting point. But could there ever be the end of anger?
Bringing together today's leading thinkers on anger, this volume raises questions critical to our intimate and public lives.
Rachel Achs, Paul Bloom, Elizabeth Bruenig, Judith Butler, Agnes Callard, Daryl Cameron, Myisha Cherry, Barbara Herman, Desmond Jagmohan, David Konstan, Oded Na'aman, Martha C. Nussbaum, Amy Olberding, Whitney Phillips, Jesse Prinz, Victoria Spring, Brandon M. Terry