Journals Higher Education



Published: 07 December 2007

304 Pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195314311

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Bookseller Code (06)

Sticks and Stones

The Philosophy of Insults

Jerome Neu

In Sticks and Stones, philosopher Jerome Neu probes the nature, purpose, and effects of insults, exploring how and why they humiliate, embarrass, infuriate, and wound us so deeply. What kind of injury is an insult? Is it determined by the insulter or the insulted? What does it reveal about the character of both parties as well as the character of society and its conventions? What is its' role in social and and legal life (from play to jokes to ritual to war and from blasphemy to defamation to hate speech)? How ready should we be to forgive? Neu draws upon a wealth of examples and anecdotes-as well as a range of views from Aristotle to Oscar Wilde to Katherine Hepburn and many others-to provide surprising answers to these questions.