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PH100 Lecture Notes

Suggestion implicit attitudes will be morally

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Suggestion: implicit attitudes will be morally problematic, if they are opposed to benevolence and justice. Question: are implicit attitudes opposed to benevolence and justice? Kelly and Roeddert: It isn't clear how to answer this question. Blum: Explicit racist attitudes are morally problematic because (a) they involve stereotyping a certain group of people and (b) stereotyping can be disrespectful for it fails to appreciate another person's full humanity Suggestion: implicit attitudes will be morally problematic, if they fail to appreciate one's full humanity What is wrong vs. what is morally blameworthy A person might not be morally blameworthy for harboring certain implicit racial attitudes (especially, in the case in which the acquisition of such attitudes is automatic and uncontrollable). We might still want to say that implicit racial attitudes are wrong. What to do? Suppose that we do harbor racial implicit attitudes. What shall we do in response? Example of a White professor grading a Black student's paper – should the professor take into account his implicit racial bias when grading? December 6, 2012: Outlaw Emotions Emotions need to be controlled or directed by reason. Platonic view Reason mental, public, universal, male, objective, absolute, aperspectival, active Emotions bodily, private, particular, female, irrational, subjective, perspectival, passive Emotions as obstacles to knowledge (more extreme view) Question: What are emotions, epistemological states? Question: What is the relationship between knowledge and emotion? Jaggar's aim: “In this essay, I wish to being bridging this gap [the gap between emotions and knowledge] through the suggestion that emotions may be helpful and even necessary rather than inimical to the construction of knowledge ” (146-7). The nature of emotions, according to Jaggar: 1. Emotions are not mere feelings nor involuntary bodily movements.
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“On such accounts, emotions were not seen as being about anything: instead, they were contrasted with and seen as potential disruptions of other phenomena that are about some thing, phenomena, such as rational judgements, thoughts, and observations” (148) Dumb view of Emotions 2. Cognitivist accounts of emotions are also problematic. Two problems with cognitivist accounts: They fail to explain the relation between the cognitive and affective aspects of emotions. They prioritize the intellectual over the feeling aspects, thereby reinforcing the traditional western preference for mind over body. 3. Emotions are socially constructed on several levels. On a conscious level: “children are taught deliberately what their culture defines as appropriate responses to certain situations” (150) On a less conscious level: “children also learn what their culture defines as the appropriate ways to express the emotions that it recognizes” (ibid.) A deeper level: our very understanding of emotions is socially constructed.
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