This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
We now pass to the third division of the analysis of νέμεσις; the subjects of it, the characters, tempers, states of mind which are especially liable to it. ‘Those who are inclined to this kind of indignation in themselves are, first, such as happen to be deserving of the greatest blessings and at the same time in possession of them; because it is unjust that those who are unlike us should have been deemed worthy of (should have been enabled to attain to) the like advantages’. This is against the principle of distributive justice above described, which assigns honours and rewards, &c. κατ᾽ ἀξίαν. See on § 2, above. The actual possession, as well as the right or claim to these good things, is necessary to the excitement of the indignation provoked by this comparison. The mere claim without the satisfaction of it would be rather provocative of envy or anger than of righteous (disinterested) indignation: when a man is satisfied himself, he is then ready to take a dispassionate view of the successes and advantages of his neighbour. When under the influence of personal feeling he is not in a state of mind fit to measure the comparative claims of himself and the other.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.