Tag Archives: Distant Suffering

sentimentality

“Here again we encounter the essential tension of a politics of pity caught between the demand for generality and the need to present particular misfortunes in order to produce an effect of pity. This is the argument that Kant employs in his Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals when he casts suspicion on impulsive, transient, and capricious emotions and compares them to the principles of a morality of duty, with a doggedness which is no doubt addressed less, as Robert Solomon remarks, to the philosophers of moral sentiments, than to their vulgarisation in sentimental literature and, in particular, in the feminine novel.” (Luc Boltanski, Distant Suffering, pp.100-101)