The Ethics of Anger provides the resources needed to understand the prevalence of anger in relation to ethics, religion, social and political behavior, and peace studies. Providing theoretical and practical arguments, both for and against the necessity of anger, The Ethics of Anger assembles a variety of diverse perspectives in order to increase knowledge and bolster further research. Part one examines topics such as the nature and ethics of vengeful anger and the psychology of anger. Part two includes chapters on the necessity of anger as central to our moral lives, an examination of Joseph Butler’s sermons on resentment, and three chapters that explore anger within Confucianism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions. Part three examines the practical responses to anger, offering several intriguing chapters on topics such as mind viruses, social justice, the virtues of anger, feminism, punishment, and popular culture. This book, edited by Court D. Lewis and Gregory L. Bock, challenges and provides a framework for how moral persons approach, incorporate, and/or exclude anger in their lives.
Court D. Lewis is associate professor of philosophy at Pellissippi State Community College.
Gregory L. Bock is assistant professor of philosophy and religion and program director of the Philosophy, Religion and Asian Studies Programs at UT Tyler.
Court D. Lewis and Gregory L. Bock
Part One: The Human Experience of Anger
1. The Nature and Ethics of Vengeful Anger
Charles L. Griswold, Boston University
2. The Psychology of Anger: Implicit and Explicit Choices for
Ethical Experiences, Expressions, and Control of Anger
Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Virginia Commonwealth University
Part Two: Moral Responses
3. The Moral Necessity of Anger
Krista K. Thomason, Swarthmore College
4. Understanding Joseph Butler’s Sermons on Resentment and Forgiveness
Gregory L. Bock, The University of Texas at Tyler
5. Anger as an Unnecessary Response
Court D. Lewis, Owensboro Community and Technical College
6. Moral Anger in Classical Confucianism
Colin Lewis, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
7. Is Anger Ever Required? Ārya Śāntideva on Anger and its Antidotes
Will Barnes, Curry College
Part Three: Practical Responses
8. Stoking Anger and Weaponizing Untruth: How Mind Viruses Undermine Social Justice
Paula Smithka, University of Southern Mississippi
9. Rage Against the Machine: The Virtues of Anger in Response to Oppression
Jennifer Kling, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
10. Anger and Feminism
Danielle Poe, University of Dayton
11. Anger and Punishment
Zachary Hoskins, University of Nottingham
12. Avoiding the Dark Side
About the Contributors
Lewis and Bock assemble a diverse array of reflections on the place of anger in moral life. Seven of the 12 essays address Martha Nussbaum’s work on transitional anger, a morally necessary form of non-retributive anger that combines a heightened sensitivity to wrongdoing and an invigorating motivation to redress harms. Several authors offer arguments in defense of the moral necessity of anger to fight oppression, promote political change, and overcome helplessness, humiliation, and despair. Others argue that anger is not morally necessary and that human beings are capable of cultivating alternatives to anger, such as forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance, and humility.... Other essays discuss feminist perspectives, punishment, the treatment of rage in popular culture, "mind viruses," and practical strategies for anger management in moral psychology. Highly recommended.
"This book is a timely contribution to an important field of research. The contributions provide cool insight at a time when temperatures are rising. The authors situate anger within global philosophical traditions, offering fresh interpretations of traditional texts, but they also consider popular culture and applied issues of contemporary concern such as punishment, race, gender, and social justice. The volume features important voices from a variety of specializations, who draw on a broad range of sources and methodologies. It clearly demonstrates that anger is an important topic for philosophical analysis and should open new conversations about a perennial topic."
"Our anger poses problems. Do we have too much or too little? Are we better off with it or without? What is to be said on both sides? In this book, the many faces and feelings of anger are considered with due respect. Aristotle meets Bishop Butler; Confucius meets Śāntideva; the radical forgiveness of Jesus meets the liberatory demands of feminism. Anger is therefore necessary and not. Anger is abdication of self-control and companion to self-fulfillment. Readers not angered by a parliament of independent views will find here the tension that is conducive to making up one’s own mind."
"Anger is everywhere. We feel and express it, but we lack a deep understanding of it. The editors offer a diverse collection of essays that addresses a variety of central questions related to human anger. Is anger ever justified? What are the different types of anger, and what are the moral implications of a more fine-grained understanding of them? What are the connections among anger, wrongdoing, and forgiveness? How is anger connected to the pursuit of social justice? In addressing these and other questions, the contributors draw from psychology, Christian thought, virtue ethics, feminism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. But this volume is not merely about understanding anger, it also has a practical focus, addressing anger in our lived experience and the roles it can play in a moral life."