Phenomenology of resentment according to Scheler and Girard in light of sloth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae

Miguel Ángel Belmonte



After Friedrich Nietzsche explained the phenomenon of resentment through a supposed unmasking of a hidden emotional complex, later writers, like Max Scheler and René Girard, qualified Nietzschean analysis by applying it to various areas of anthropology and society. Many of the main contributions from these contemporary analyses find their roots in earlier authors, both modern and medieval. Six and a half centuries before Scheler, Thomas Aquinas offered in two questions of his Summa Theologiae dedicated to sloth and envy, a series of conceptual clarifications and psychological observations, which, in large part, share the same content and, at times, the form, with certain characterisations of resentment. Using many text references, we show the parallels between Schelerian phenomenology of resentment and the Thomasian explanation of the deadly sins.


deadly sins; moral falsehood; Nietzsche; Scheler; Girard; Thomas Aquinas

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