[Helpsheet prepared for Phi 383W class, Spring 2000]

JAGGAR: "LOVE AND KNOWLEDGE: EMOTION
IN FEMINIST EPISTEMOLOGY

                                            SUMMARY
- But emotions are:
    - Intentional...not "dumb" (unspoken, meaningless) psychological feeling
    - Social constructs...not instinctive or presocial or prelinguistic
    - Active engagements, habitual responses...not involuntary occurrences

- and are
    - linked with value: they presuppose value and value presupposes them
    - involved in observation:  they partly define observation and observation partly
    defines them

- and are
    - always present in scientific investigation… as generally accepted social values
    - implicated in how we select problems, formulate hypotheses, evaluate solution
    - and in what we think science is

- Present Science is:
    - [dualistic, separating, knowledge from emotion and value ]
    - racist, sexist, imperialist
    - reflection of male emotions
        - separation anxiety
        - need for control

- Women have two kinds of emotions:
    - “hegemonic”, conservative emotions
    - “outlaw” emotions (because of women’s subordinate position in society
    - and are good at reflection on emotions because of:
        - their subordination
        - their gender-roles and training for  nurturance

- Must see that there are mutually constitutive, dialectical relations between:
    - Reason and emotion
    - Knowledge and emotion/value
    - Critical social theory and outlaw emotions
    - Reconstruction and reconstruction of the self
 
 

                        Outline

Intro:
- Plato et al.- split between emotion/reason is not absolute
- 17th c.- sharpened contrast- reason is now just instrumental
- 18th c.- added empiricism (senses + reason) eventually led to positivism
    - POSITIVISM:
        - Scientific method neutralizes emotions of individuals (what emotions are)
        - Separate emotion from both the senses and reason

EMOTIONS ARE INTENTIONAL
- Positivist view:
    - Emotions= physical feelings or involuntary movements of the body
    - Emotions are not about anything- (“Dumb” view)
- But this is false, because e.g.
    - Same feeling can be interpreted as various emotions, depending on context
    - Then I could not be unaware of my emotional state and I sometimes am
    - Emotions are dispositional; physiological states are episodic
- Cognitivist view:
    - Emotions involve intentional judgements, as well as physiological states
    - The judgement defines it
- Problems here:
    - This view replicates the split between the emotional/cognitive
    - Supposes distinction between public, objective world and private, individual,
        subjective world
    - Prioritizes intellect, pushes affect aside

EMOTIONS ARE SOCIAL COSTRUCTS
- Partly voluntary, partly involuntary
- Not instinctive or biologically determined; not presocial; rather…. Socially
    constructed at many levels
    - Kids are taught appropriate responses to recognize emotions, and how to
        express emotions
    - Cultural differences
    - Notice: metaphors, to see different constructs
    - Emotions are limited by the conceptual and linguistic resources of a society
    - Possibly no human emotion could be experienced by a solitary individual
        without a social group
           - Individual experience is simultaneously social !

EMOTIONS ARE ACTIVE ENGAGEMENTS
- They are not merely involuntary because
    - We try to control them
    - Some psychological theories say they are actions that we disclaim responsibility for
        - Recognized roles
    - Active/passive is too simple
- Emotions are habitual responses we have more or less difficulty breaking them
- Emotions are ways in which we engage the world actively, and even construct the world

SUMMARY
- Emotions are active, constructive of the world
- And are both mental and physical
- And presuppose language and social order

EMOTION, EVALUATION, OBSERVATION
- Emotion and values presuppose each other (this is the grain of truth in emotivism)
- Emotion and observation influence, and partially define each other
    - Cf. Selection, interpretation
    - Honi phenomenon

MYTH OF DISPASSIONATE INVESTIGATION
- Emotions have both instrumental value (survival value and intrinsic value- they give
    meaning to life)
- But western tendency to suppress emotions and positivism lead to the myth that we
    can be dispassionate investigators
    - But it’s false; emotions are always present in investigations
- Positivism makes room for emotion but only in “logic of discovery”” not in the
    “logic of justification”
    - In testing, replicability supposedly cancels emotional and evaluative biases
    of individuals
    - Hence, get uncontaminated objective conclusions in science
- But in reality
    - The scientific method May filter out real idiosyncrasies
    - But cannot eliminate generally accepted social values
        - Social values remain Implicit in problems, hypotheses, acceptability of solutions, etc.
- Value and emotions enter at two levels
    - Scientific practices
    - Metascientific level: answers to Q’s like “what is science”, etc.
        - Here feminists say modern science reflects racism, sexism, imperialism
            - Remember: knowledge power
            - And that modern epistemology reflects male emotions of seperation,
                anxiety, need for control, etc.
- Lesson
    - MUST RETHINK RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND EMOTION
    - MUST CONSTRUCT A MODEL THAT SHOWS REASON AND EMOTION AS
        MUTUALLY CONSTITUTIVE
    - Emotion and value are both necessary to knowledge

IDEOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF THE MYTH
- NB: we associate reason with dominant groups, emotion with subordinate groups
- Stereotype of women’s emotionality (NB: women do express emotion more openly)
- White men may become less adept at identifying emotions, which may mean rigidity,
    and also may mean their being more, not less, influenced by emotions
- IDEOLOGICAL FUNCTION=TO BOLSTER EPISTEMIC AUTHORITY OF
    DOMINANT GROUPS AND THEREBY BOLSTER THEIR POLITICAL AUTHORITY

EMOTIONAL HEGEMONY AND SUBVERSION
- The very language of emotion has embedded in it cultural norms and expectations
- These serve the interests of the dominant groups
- They make up all of our emotional constitutions
- They are conservative, part of making society perpetuate itself
- They thus hinder new ways of living and new theorizing
- But we do have unconventional emotions- “outlaw” emotions
- Especially subordinated individuals do this and this may lead to a subculture which is
    subversive epistemologically and politically
- Feminist emotions incorporate feminist perspectives and values
- DIALECTICAL RELATION BETWEEN OUTLAW EMOTIONS AND CRITICAL
    SOCIAL THEORY

OUTLAW EMOTIONS AND FEMINIST THEORY
- How they help
    - They motivate new investigations
    - They let us perceive the world differently and raise challenges
- Problem: how can we say some are better than others?
    - DO THEY CHARACTERIZE A SOCIETY WHERE ALL THRIVE
- Oppressed have Epistemic Privilege
- Examples of emotions that are more appropriate both epistemologically and morally
    - Hillary Rose on caring in understanding women’s bodies
    - Goodall on chimp behavior (empathy)
    - McClintock on maize (vocab of affection, empathy )

IMPLICATIONS OF RECOGNIZING THE EPISTEMIC POTENTIAL OF EMOTION
- Emotions are epistemologically indispensable though not indisputable
- Thus: take them seriously, but not uncritically
- They are subject to reinterpretation and revision, challenges, etc.
- DILAECTIC FEEDBACK LOOP BETWEEN NEW KNOWLEDGE AND OUTLAW
    EMOTIONS
- Also emotional constitution and theorizing
- The meaning of recalcitrant emotions could be that it’s hard to shake an old view or that a
    new view is wrong
- LESSON: CRITICAL THEORY MUST BE SELF-REFLECTIVE
    - Focus not just on outer world but on our selves and our relation to the world
        - Pay attention to social location, values, perceptions, emotions
    - I.e RECONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE IS INSEPERABLE FROM
        RECONSTRUCTION OF SELF
    - MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE CRITCAL SELF-EXAM IS A NECESSARY PART
        OF THE THEORETICAL PROCESS
    - I.E. CRITICAL REFLECTION ON EMOTION IS INDISPENSABLE FOR AN
        ADEQUATE SOCIAL THEORY AND SOCIAL TRANSFORAMTION
- Women are especially well positioned for critical theory because:
    - They are adept at identifying emotions
    - They have outlaw emotions

CONCLUSIONS
- Emotion is vital to systematic knowledge
- “an emotion” is a conceptual abstraction from a complex process of human activity that also involves acting, sensing and evaluating
- this suggests a model of knowledge that is nonhierarchical and antifoundationalist
    - image of an upward spiral