Emily McTernanOct 1, 2023
On Taking Offence
Oxford University Press 2023
A lot of work in moral, political, and legal theory aims to define the offensive. Surprisingly, relatively little attention has been paid to the affectively intoned practice of taking offense. One consequence of this inattention is that discussion of offense-taking usually occurs within the context of popular culture critique, where many commentators lament that people today are too easily offended or take offence at too many things. The prevailing thought is that taking offence is usually morally and socially pernicious.
Emily McTernan disagrees. In On Taking Offence (Oxford 2023), she develops a novel conception of what it is to take offence, why taking offence is an essential part of our moral and social repertoire, and when the disposition to take offence is an expression of civic virtue.
Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.