1.Â Two studies suggest that women apologize more than men. The reason? They are more easily offended, and find more actions more offensive:
In Study 1, participants reported in daily diaries all offenses they committed or experienced and whether an apology had been offered. Women reported offering more apologies than men, but they also reported committing more offenses. There was no gender difference in the proportion of offenses that prompted apologies.Â This finding suggests that men apologize less frequently than women because they have a higher threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.Â In Study 2, we tested this threshold hypothesis by asking participants to evaluate both imaginary and recalled offenses.Â As predicted, men rated the offenses as less severe than women did. These different ratings of severity predicted both judgments of whether an apology was deserved and actual apology behavior.
Can women beÂ wrongÂ to be offended by an act judged non-offensive by men? Can men beÂ wrongÂ to fail to see the offence in a behavior judged offensive by women?Â How do we adjudicate different thresholds of offense? Can Coase guide us here? Are some equilibria preferable to others? Why or why not?
None of the MPs listed above has any right to respect and should be met with contempt.
One can at least confront and respectfully negotiate with a single-Â minded, unpretending enemy; but contempt is a deep dismissal, aÂ denial of the prospect of reconciliation, a signal that conversation isÂ over. Furious argument and accusation, and even sharp-tonguedÂ deflation of hypocrisy and self-deception, leave some space to resumeÂ communication; but cold, silent contempt does not. The one demands to be heard, while the other walks away in disgust
In Hillâ€™s lectures, the satisfaction of this criterion gives rise to bothÂ formal and substantive requirements of respect for persons.Â The formal,Â or procedural, requirement of respect involves regarding each personÂ as â€œa potential co-legislator of the basic principles we all must live by.â€Â So regarding a person will require that we â€œlisten to one another, takeÂ seriously the arguments of those who reject oneâ€™s initial position, . . .be sincere in [our] proposals and nonmanipulative in [our] arguments,Â [aiming] not to gain power through debate but to convince others thatÂ [our] position is justiï¬able,â€ and so on.Â This formal principle, in turn, gives rise to more substantive requirements of respect, on Hillâ€™s view, when we try to take up the KantianÂ moral perspective. We can suppose that anyone reï¬‚ecting from thisÂ perspective, Hill argues, â€œwould endorse at least the presumption thatÂ every human being is to be respected so far as possible in the substantiveÂ ways that we so highly value. Since not all human beings have specialÂ skills or unusual merit, compared to others, the respect we presumeÂ required cannot be respect for a personâ€™s merit but rather respect for a personâ€™sÂ position, which in this case must be just the position of â€˜being human.â€™â€Â This presumption of respect for persons is incompatible with contemptÂ insofar as the latter â€œis a deep dismissal, a denial of the prospect ofÂ reconciliation, a signal that conversation is over.â€ Whereas even â€œfuriousÂ argument and accusationâ€ leave room for the possible resumption ofÂ communication, â€œcold, silent contempt does not. The one demands toÂ be heard, while the other walks away in disgust.â€Â The presumption ofÂ respect for persons as such, as Hill defends it here, thus is not theÂ minimal notion of recognition respect as I have suggested, that is, theÂ negative requirement that places constraints on our interactions withÂ our fellows. Rather, it is a more positive requirement of an active formÂ of engagement with those fellows
Is the prospect of such contempt too great for co-legislators of basicÂ principles to risk? Iâ€™m not sure I know how to decide that question,Â and, again, I doubt that its answer addresses the threat of inhumanity to others any better than does my own nonanswer. In response to suchÂ a question, I ï¬nd myself wanting to say that were the optimism aboutÂ humanity that would encourage one to offer a positive answer to theÂ question justiï¬ed, then the answer would not in practice matter becauseÂ what had been â€œriskedâ€ would never come to pass. That is, if the thoughtÂ driving oneâ€™s choice of such principles were the thought that no actualÂ human being deserves to be so treatedâ€”and so we cannot reasonablyÂ risk being so treatedâ€”then a positive answer is an easy one to give. TheÂ history of the human race thus far, however, provides a rich cast ofÂ characters of whom such optimism is, Iâ€™m afraid, naive. And if suchÂ characters are among my co-legislators, then I can only hope that theÂ majority vote goes my way.
- Arguments against contempt assume the equality of persons.
- If persons were equal, no one would deserve contempt.
- Yet some people deserve contempt. (Just LOOK at what they’ve done!)
âˆ´ Some people deserve contempt. (Don’t be NAIVE.)
What’s more, there’s no voting in the kingdom of ends: we’re not tallying up the votes on lying or genocide. Of course Mason knows this, which suggests she’s simply acknowledging that this is a disagreement on first principles.
After all, the case for equality of respect makes basically the same move by assuming the equality of persons, which is really the question being disputed:
- Arguments in favor of contempt assume that we can earn dignity.
- Earning respect subjects the human person to evaluations of value and worth.
- Contempt is an appraisal of a person’s inferiority.
- Having a value is a property of objects, not persons.
- Persons deserve respect by virtue of being persons.
- The equality of respect is incompatible with appraisals of personal inferiority.
âˆ´No person deserves contempt.
By a lie a human being throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a human being.Â A human being who does not himself believe what he tells another (even if the other is a merely ideal person) has even less worth than if he were a mere thing; for a thing because it is something real and given, has the property of being serviceable so that another can put it to some use.
So there’s that.Â Again, I think we can simply say that status emotions are immoral and leave it at that. Blame and praise are moral; contempt and deference are immoral. Hate the sin and not the sinner. (If we hate the sinner, we’re acting immorally and perhaps committing a category mistake as well. Compare: “The doerÂ is merely aÂ fictionÂ added to theÂ deedÂ â€“ theÂ deedÂ is everything.”)