Innocence is a byproduct of guilt. What is the counterfactual to envy? Is it virtue? “Not so!”, says the consumer, “For my I am the Joneses and keeping up with me is what you want to do! Perfection is the image I represent!” Beyond language games, envy is an emotion which appears through comparisons with others. This includes, but isn’t limited to, qualities, achievements, possessions, and other desires. Aristotle (Rhetoric) defined envy (φθόνος phthonos), “as the pain caused by the good fortune of others”. Kant defined envy as, “a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another’s because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others” (Metaphysics of Morals). According to the research done by Salovey and Rodin (1988), "more effective strategies for reducing initial envy appear to be stimulus focused rather than self-focused.". Salovey and Rodin (1988) also suggest "self-bolstering (e.g., "thinking about my good qualities") may be an effective strategy for moderating these self-deprecating thoughts and muting negative affective reactions".
Parrott, W. G.; Smith, R. H. (1993). "Distinguishing the experiences of envy and jealousy". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 64: 906–920. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206 ↩︎
Pedrick, Victoria; Oberhelman, Steven M. (2006). The Soul of Tragedy: Essays on Athenian Drama. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-226-65306-8. ↩︎
Salovey, P.; Rodin, J. (1988). "Coping with envy and jealousy". Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 7: 15–33. doi:10.1521/jscp.19220.127.116.11 ↩︎
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