By Jerome Neu
"Sticks and stones may well holiday my bones yet phrases won't ever harm me." This schoolyard rhyme initiatives an invulnerability to verbal insults that sounds stable yet earrings fake. certainly, the necessity for one of these verse belies its personal claims. for many folks, feeling insulted is a distressing-and distressingly common-experience.
In Sticks and Stones, thinker Jerome Neu probes the character, function, and results of insults, exploring how and why they humiliate, embarrass, infuriate, and wound us so deeply. what sort of damage is an insult? Is it made up our minds through the insulter or the insulted? What does it display in regards to the personality of either events in addition to the nature of society and its conventions? What position does insult play in social and felony lifestyles? whilst is telling the reality an insult? Neu attracts upon a wealth of examples and anecdotes-as good as more than a few perspectives from Aristotle and Oliver Wendell Holmes to Oscar Wilde, John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, and plenty of others-to offer magnificent solutions to those questions. He exhibits that what we discover insulting can demonstrate a lot approximately our principles of personality, honor, gender, the character of speech acts, and social and felony conventions. He considers how insults, either intentional and unintended, make themselves felt-in play, Freudian slips, insult humor, rituals, blasphemy, libel, slander, and hate speech. And he investigates the insult's amazing energy, why it may so fast destabilize our feel of self and threaten our ethical identification, the very middle of our self-respect and self-esteem.
exciting, funny, and deeply insightful, Sticks and Stones unpacks the interesting dynamics of a phenomenon extra usually painfully skilled than basically understood.
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Additional info for Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults
And some of the complications here may be like the puzzles raised by the relation of masochism to pleasure. If masochism involves enjoying the inﬂiction of pain on oneself (even if under very speciﬁc and stereotyped circumstances), the notion that pain is necessarily or essentially unpleasant comes into question. Does the masochist enjoy the pain or is the masochist simply willing to put up with the unpleasantness of the pain for the sake of something else? How could one tell? One of the usual measures of the unpleasantness of pain is precisely the steps taken to avoid it.
Dueling was also, like honor itself, a matter strictly for men—Italian virtù is explicitly an ideal of manliness (Kiernan 1988, 48). While often invoked in the protection of women, it is only men who have and lose honor, and who must duel to preserve it. ) The emphasis on courage, sangfroid, rugged combativeness, uncompromisingness, insistence on respect, and strength in notions of honor were equally marks of certain (particularly martial and heroic) male selfimages. “Duelling could virtually be regarded as a test of true, unalloyed masculinity” (Frevert 1995, 27).
This in addition to usurping the state’s monopoly on violence. The existence of the rituals came to force some people to defend their honor in situations where they (and society) would have preferred to let the matter drop or to deal with it without violence, even regimented and circumscribed violence. A point of honor can oblige one to resent, and in the world HONOR: SLAPS AND SWORDS 39 of dueling, to challenge. Some were forced to ﬁght by the pressures of their class. The refusal of a challenge made one (in the German expression) unsatisfaktionsfähig—you abdicated the rights of your station and anyone could insult you without you being able to demand chivalrous satisfaction—one got reclassed a coward.
Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults by Jerome Neu