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Southern Journal Of Philosophy


It is common to think that we would be morally better people if we never felt envy. Recently, some philosophers have rejected this conclusion by arguing that envy can often be directed toward unfairness or inequality. As such, they conclude that we should not suppress our feelings of envy. I argue, however, that these defenses only show that envy is sometimes morally permissible. In order to show that we would not be better off without envy, we must show how envy is not merely morally permissible, but morally valuable. Here I provide a defense of envy's moral value. I argue that feelings of envy are integral to the value that moral agents place on the goods and talents that they judge to be central to a worthwhile life.


This work is a preprint that is freely available courtesy of Wiley, the University of Memphis, and the Philosophy Documentation Center.

The final publication version can be accessed via 10.1111/sjp.12095.

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