I know roughly what Nietzsche conceives 'ressentiment' to be, basically the inability to react to (and hence festering of) the feeling of being oppressed and powerless over a long time.

Does anyone know of any good critiques of his account of 'ressentiment'? I'm writing an essay answering the question 'what is 'ressentiment'?' and I'm told to be critical, but I'm not sure what angle to take.

I guess one could be critical of whether his account of 'ressentiment' in the creation of slave morality is plausible.

Also if we say are to say that it is plausible we should seek to understand the mechanism of how 'ressentiment' creates slave morality (i.e. is it conscious/subconscious, how did slave morality come to affect the nobles etc).

These don't seem like proper critiques to me though, more like nit-picking, especially since Nietzsche is not really about 'watertight' philosophical theory.

If anyone has any better takes I'd be glad to hear.

  • 2
    Max Scheler, Ressentiment. ed. L. Coser, transl. W. Holdheim. Schocken. 1972. (201 pages.) – sand1 Apr 8 '18 at 20:22
  • 1
    Tomelleri, S. Ressentiment: Reflections on Mimetic Desire and Society, Michigan UP., 2015. 246 p. treats both Scheler and Ntz from Girard's perspective; 2 books in French by M. Ferro (Le R. dans l'histoire, 2007) and by M. Angenot (Les idéologies du R. 1996) offer a larger historic perspective. – sand1 Apr 9 '18 at 8:50

Try :

(1) Who Was Nietzsche's Genealogist? Elijah Millgram, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jul., 2007), pp. 92-110.

Pretty critical and not unsubtle. Attacks (2).

(2) Nietzsche on Ressentiment and Valuation Author(s): Bernard Reginster Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 57, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 281-305.

Not an attempt to demolish N's account but none the less a critical examination and in the final para. the suggestion of a different, subversive critique. Useful exposition of N's concept of ressentiment, which might pull some ideas together.

(3) Nietzsche's Conscience Aaron Ridley, Journal of Nietzsche Studies, No. 11, Conscience and Pain, Tragedy and Truth.

Examines problems in the relationship between ressentiment and bad conscience - unusual angle ?

(4) Nietzsche's Radicalization of Kant William W. Sokoloff, Polity, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct., 2006), pp. 501-518.

Tries to synthesise Kant and Nietzsche.

Not much but some of it might help.

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