Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Criticism of Contempt
Perhaps the contempt that one has of things is because that they are common. But also it is because no propriety is used when they are being communicated. That is why frequent talk of base matter is particularly odious to those who must endure its expression. The foul aftertaste of being told of mere daily activity at a bad time will leave one wanting to flee the stench for something fresh.
This can be illustrated by considering your common concerns and comparing them to how they are often expressed. Notice that the difference cannot be easily divided. We speak of things and how they are said, but here the distinction is not helpful because things and their modes of being exhibited in speech are denoted in the same way, even though things are separate from speech.
Endurance of such tendencies and refraining from offending those who must experience such a thing could be one solution. But this personal behavior will not solve the problem of why there is contempt in the first place. The effects lead the offended party to believe that the problem lies within the speech act itself rather than within them. Perhaps the problem is there.
More could be said, but it is enough to point out that contempt is a reaction to what is perceived to be contemptuous. This contempt of common speech that is without proper order signals that the offended party has imputed bad intentions to the seeming offender. Pity could combat contempt by offering the reason that the poor speakers are without just right to promote their talk.