This chapter concentrates on the specific relations between morality and emotion and between reason and passion, which, expressed biblically, involves a hunger and thirst for justice. Ressentiment represents for Jankélévitch precisely this emotional hold of the claim of justice. As such it is a precondition for forgiveness, but it stands preeminently for duration and for fidelity to values and to the singularity of lost and damaged lives. This chapter offers a brief genealogy of resentment from Aristotle to Joseph Butler, Nietzsche, and Max Scheler in order to explore its moral ambivalence in the history of philosophy. It demonstrates how Jankélévitch, like Jean Améry, invokes the "weak force" of indignation to protest the moral atrocities of his time. But it also examines how Jankélévitch's personal resentment risks betraying the humanity whose rights he seeks to protect.
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