International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 59, Issue 2, June 2019

Roberto Mordacci
Pages 121-136

A Short History and Theory of Respect

It has become common, following Stephen Darwall’s “Two Kinds of Respect” (1977), to distinguish between “appraisal respect” and “recognition respect.” I propose, rather, to distinguish between hierarchical and egalitarian respect. The way the two meanings interact and the way they either support or contrast with each other have yet to be made clear. The meanings gathered under the broad rubric of respect can be highlighted by a genealogy that convincingly shows that the hierarchical notion is fundamental and that the definition of an egalitarian meaning is a decisive shift made mainly by the Enlightenment movement, particularly by Kant. Furthermore, the notion of respect is currently being extended beyond persons—to animals, other living beings, and the environment. I argue that we can justifiably do so on the basis of the interaction between the hierarchical and egalitarian notions of respect.