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Winter 2020

On Anger

What role should anger play in our personal and political lives? This issue suggests anger compromises us all. Recognized by the New Yorker as a Best Book of 2020.

Anger looms large in our public lives. Should it?

 

Reflecting on two millennia of debates about the value of anger, Agnes Callard contends that efforts to distinguish righteous forms of anger from unjust vengeance, or appropriate responses to wrongdoing from inappropriate ones, are misguided. What if, she asks, anger is not a bug of human life, but a feature—an emotion that, for all its troubling qualities, is an essential part of being a moral agent in an imperfect world? And if anger is both troubling and essential, what then do we do with the implications: that angry victims of injustice are themselves morally compromised, and that it might not be possible to respond rightly to being treated wrongly? As Callard concludes, “We can’t be good in a bad world.”

The contributions that follow explore anger in its many forms—public and private, personal and political—raising an issue that we must grapple with: Does the vast well of public anger compromise us all?


Essays

Brandon M. Terry, Judith Butler

Judith Butler talks with Brandon M. Terry about MLK, the grievability of black lives, and how to defend nonviolence today. 

David Konstan
Anger’s history—along with the very fact that it has one—can shed light on the hypertrophied emotional climate of today.
Martha C. Nussbaum

Victim anger can be useful to political struggle, but it can also become excessive and obsessive, deforming the self.

Whitney Phillips
Cancel culture can go wrong, but that doesn't mean the objections of far-right trolls and social justice activists should be mistaken for having equal worth.
Amy Olberding

Righteous Incivility

Order our Winter 2020 book today to read more.

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