Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults

Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults

Jerome Neu


"Sticks and stones could holiday my bones yet phrases won't ever damage me." This schoolyard rhyme initiatives an invulnerability to verbal insults that sounds solid 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, goal, 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 exhibit 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 existence? while 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 staggering solutions to those questions. He indicates that what we discover insulting can exhibit a lot approximately our rules of personality, honor, gender, the character of speech acts, and social and felony conventions. He considers how insults, either intentional and accidental, make themselves felt-in play, Freudian slips, insult humor, rituals, blasphemy, libel, slander, and hate speech. And he investigates the insult's awesome strength, why it could possibly so fast destabilize our experience of self and threaten our ethical id, the very heart of our self-respect and self-esteem.

Entertaining, funny, and deeply insightful, Sticks and Stones unpacks the attention-grabbing dynamics of a phenomenon extra usually painfully skilled than in actual fact understood.

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