The chapter historicizes the desire for punishment. It argues that desire for social esteem is inextricably entwined with punishment. In each period, the desire drew support from social morality and existing notions of order, and was inherently dualistic, predisposed to excess and to conformity, marked by uncontrollable anger and calculated concern. In the field of tension between reason and passion, desire for social esteem has been persistently discussed and ambiguously valued in the Western tradition of thought: celebrated as thumos in Ancient Greece, condemned as pride in Medieval Europe, and hailed as the desire for recognition on the brink to modernity. On this analysis, there is no shared reservoir of punitivity within the population which can only find satisfaction in punishment. Instead, there is a desire to be fully part of society, or to distinguish oneself over against others, which can just as well be satisfied through other actions and achievements. The last section analyses recent attempts to rehabilitate thumos undertaken in conscious opposition to Hegel’s intuition that individual claims for recognition will necessarily transcend existing institutions and realize more freedom. It is shown that desire for recognition can turn toward intolerance, revenge and unrestrained self-assertion, and still find satisfaction.