"Invidious" (the often misunderstood) is known to involve harmful or threatening effects — at least insomuch as one party feels "resentful" or similarly about the situation.
So there are at least two 'parties' involved:
- one that performs the action, or represents the situation
- another that is "aroused" to, or "incurs" the "resentment or anger"
So my question is whether Party #1 does their acts, represents the situation with malice? Meaning: 'by design'. Does "invidiousness" come implicit with design for the results of the actions? Or is this intentionality then another word (e.g. "malice")
Alternatively, does 'invidiousness' come minimally with consideration? Does Party #1 comprehend the capacity of their action(s) to incite resentfulness in Party #2?
My focus has come to the part of the definition that says "likely." An "invidious" action is one that is "likely" to cause resentment, etc. The OED may advance this dimension of the word even further:
Of a charge, complaint, report, etc.: Tending or fitted to excite odium, unpopularity, or ill feeling against some one.
In either the case of a 'tendency' or a 'fitting' it would seem that the actor (#1) has, minimally, a consideration as to the invidious effect, namely "odium, unpopularity, or ill feeling against some one."
The coup de grace question: must invidiousness be absent of Care? Can Party #1 act invidiously and still have compassion for Party #2?
At risk of involving too much thought about the metaphysics of intent - many of the comment center around intent and unintended consequences (unto Party #2).