Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access Can’t Complain

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Can’t Complain

  • HTML
  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality
image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

Affiliations: 1: Trent University, c/o Department of Philosophy, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario, K9L 0G2 Canada;


Philosophers generally prescribe against complaining, or endorse only complaints directed to rectification of the circumstances. Notably, Aristotle and Kant aver that the importuning of others with one’s pains is effeminate and should never be done. In this paper, I reject the prohibition of complaint. The gendered aspects of Aristotle’s and Kant’s criticisms of complaint include their deploring a self-indulgent “softness” with respect to pain, yielding to feelings at the expense of remembering one’s duties to others and one’s own self-respect. I argue that complaining may also take the form of mindful attention to shared suffering. A complainer may observe affective duties, such as commiseration and invitations to disclose pains. Against more contemporary views that justify only constructive complaints directed to change, I suggest that quotidian, unconstructive complaining sometimes fulfills important social functions, including the amelioration of loneliness and affective solidarity, for the sake of others as well as oneself.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed


Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation