Anger and Revolutionary Justice

Lessons for Our Era from Three Parts of the Globe

February 26, 2015
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. EST
Location: Healy Hall Gaston Hall Map

When there is great injustice, it is very tempting to think that righteous anger is the best response, and even a necessary response. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that the three most successful revolutionary freedom movements in the past century have been conducted in a spirit of non-anger (distinct from, though sometimes joined to, non-violence): Gandhi’s independence movement; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement; and Nelson Mandela’s freedom movement in South Africa.

In this year's Berkley Center Lecture, the University of Chicago's Martha C. Nussbaum provided a philosophical analysis of the emotion of anger and, through studying the thought and practice of Gandhi, King, and Mandela, she argued that non-anger is both normatively and practically superior to anger.

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