Title of Chapter/Section

A Study of Virtuous and Vicious Anger

Title of Book

Virtues and Their Vices

Editor(s) of Book

Kevin Timpe

Craig Boyd



Document Type

Book Section/Chapter

Place of Publication

New York


Oxford University Press

Year of Publication


Page Range



In this chapter, I defend an account of an angrily virtuous, or patient, person informed by recent research on emotion in empirical and philosophical psychology. I argue that virtue and vice with respect to anger is determined by excellence and deficiency with respect to all three of anger’s functions: its involvement in (1) appraisal of wrongdoing, (2) its role as a motivating force, and (3) its communicative function. Many accounts of anger assess it only with respect to one of these functions. Most typically, anger is assessed instrumentally with regard to its role in motivation. As I show, any singular evaluation of a person’s anger will ignore important dimensions of anger that bear on virtue and vice; possessing excellence with respect to only one of anger’s functions is thus insufficient for virtue. Further, lacking excellence with respect to all three functions corresponds to the two characteristic vices of anger: wrath and meekness.