LETTER: Can a bully be brave?

ACCORDING to Mike Eslea, a psychology researcher ("Parents `may back bullying' ", 2 April), the fact that some people asked to respond to the statement "A bully is really a coward" did not agree with it "suggests that some people do admire bullying".

What astonishing reasoning! It is perfectly possible to be a bully and yet not to exemplify the fault of cowardice, just as it is possible for a bully not to be a thief, adulterer or liar. There is no inconsistency in loathing bullies while withholding from them the epithet "coward". "Coward" is not an all-purpose term of abuse for someone who is nasty to others.

Paul Brownsey

Department of Philosophy

Glasgow University