The Morality and Limits of Revenge
Webcast Q&A: 8 May 2011, Question 3
I answered a question on the morality and limits of revenge on 8 May 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Is revenge ever moral? In a famous song, singer Carrie Underwood describes trashing her boyfriend's truck after she finds out that he cheated on her. Is it ever moral to seek out revenge like this on someone who has lied to you or has done something for which there are no real legal repercussions? What are the limits of moral revenge, if any?
My Answer, In Brief: It's never moral to violate a person's rights, including property rights. In addition, it's self-destructive to focus on getting one's revenge. Instead, exercise your right to free association – and cut the person out of your life so that you can pursue goals and projects that matter to you.
- Duration: 8:41
- Download: MP3 Segment (3.0 MB)
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- Philosophy in Action: The Morality of Revenge for Harms (19 December 2011)
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].