Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Rhetoric. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Book II, chapter 10
In this rather short chapter Aristotle considers why we feel envy. “Envy is pain at the sight of such good fortune as consists of the good things already mentioned; we feel it towards our equals; not with the idea of getting something for ourselves, but because the other people have it” (II.10 B1388a). Those who are ambitious or desire wisdom are prone to envy. Essentially, if we feel entitled to something we don’t have, envy is a common reaction. Aristotle observes that we rarely envy people in different times or places. It is normally directed against those in close proximity to us.