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PH100 Lecture Notes

Jaggars claim therefore rather than repressing

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Jaggar's claim: “Therefore, rather than repressing emotion in epistemology it is necessary to think that relation between knowledge and emotion and construct conceptual models that demonstrate the mutually constitutive rather than oppositional relation between reason and emotion. Emotion as well as value must be shown as necessary to such knowledge” (156-157) The idea (and ideal) of a dispassionate enquiry is a myth – one that has greatly influenced epistemology (theory of knowledge) The myth of dispassionate investigation has an ideological function reinforces stereotypes strengthens the epistemic and political authority of the currently dominant groups discredits observations and claims of those perceived to be more emotional: subordinate groups The ideal of the dispassionate investigator is a classist, racist, and especially masculinist myth Emotional Hegemony Cultural norms are embedded in how we feel (e.g., feeling angry: we have been wronged, victimized by the violation of some social norm). Withing a hierarchical society, the norms and values that predominate will tend to serve the interest of the dominant group. Consequence: we are likely to develop emotional constitutions that are inappropriate for certain groups and views (e.g., feminism) Our emotional responses to gender, race and sexual orientation, e.g., are “deeply rooted in us that are relatively impervious to intellectual argument” (159) related to John Haidt Outlaw Emotions However, people do not always experience the emotions that are conventionally accepted Conventionally unacceptable emotions = “outlaw emotions” Who often have outlaw emotions are subordinated individuals (minorities, women, gays, lesbians) “who pay a disproportional high price for maintaining the status quo” (16) The social situation of such people makes them unable to experience the conventionally prescribed emotions” A person of color feels anger, not amusement, when a racist joke is told. When outlaw emotions are felt in isolation, they might cause uneasiness in, and even confuse, those individuals who have those emotions. “When certain emotions are shared or validated by others, however, the basis exists for forming a subculture defined by perceptions, norms, and values that systematically oppose the prevailing perceptions, norms and values. By constituting the basis for such a subculture, outlaw emotions may be politically because epistemologically subversive” (160) Outlaw emotions are incompatible with the dominant values and norms. Some outlaw emotions are feminist emotions.
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Jaggar's view: 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
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Jaggars claim Therefore rather than repressing emotion in...

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