PH100 Lecture Notes

• outlaw emotions are very important • they can

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Unformatted text preview: • Outlaw emotions are very important. • They can allow us to develop alternatives to prevailing conceptions of reality. They can do so by: ◦ Motivating critical research: “Feminist emotions provide a political motivation for investigation and so help to determine the selection of problems as well as the method by which they are investigated” (161) ◦ Enabling us to perceive the world differently ◦ Providing indications that something is wrong with the status quo (accepted understandings and norms) The importance of outlaw emotions: “Only when we reflect on our initially puzzling irritability, revulsion, anger, or fear may we bring to consciousness our ‘gut-level’ awareness that we are in a situation of coercion, cruelty, injustice, or danger. Thus, conventionally inexplicable emotions, particularly, though not exclusively, those experienced by women, may lead us to make subversive observation that challenge dominant conceptions of the status quo.” (161) Questions/objections: 1. Why should we trust the emotional responses of women and other subordinated groups? 2. How can we determine which outlaw emotions to be endorsed or encouraged and which rejected? 3. In what sense can we say that some emotional responses are more appropriate than others? 4. Why should outlaw emotions trump conventional emotions? Jaggar's answer: “I suggest that emotions are appropriate if they are characteristic of a society in which al humans (and perhaps some nonhuman life, too) thrive, or if they are conducive to establishing with a society” (161). • It is appropriate to feel fear when threatened. • It is appropriate to feel joy when exercising our creative powers. • There are appropriate and inappropriate emotions. Lingering concern: Jaggar's position is too vague. • What happens if there is disagreement about what counts as disgusting or unjust? ◦ Jaggar: we should take the perspective of the oppressed very seriously. ◦ “Oppressed people have a kind of epistemological privilege insofar as they have easier access to this standpoint and therefore a better chance of ascertaining, the possible beginnings of a society in which all could thrive” (162)...
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