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Philosophia

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 589–608 | Cite as

The Epistemic Value of Emotions in Politics

  • Benedetta RomanoEmail author
Article
  • 238 Downloads

Abstract

In this paper, I consider emotional reactions in response to political facts, and I investigate how they may provide relevant knowledge about those facts. I assess the value of such knowledge, both from an epistemic and a political perspective. Concerning the epistemic part, I argue that, although emotions are not in themselves sufficient to ground evaluative knowledge about political facts, they can do so within a network of further coherent epistemic attitudes about those facts. With regards to the political part, I argue that the contribution of emotions to evaluative knowledge about political facts, is indeed politically valuable. To develop my argument, I show first that an evaluative kind of knowledge is relevant for reaching a sophisticated level of political cognition, and second that emotions contribute distinctively to this kind of knowledge. I conclude that, when emotional experiences towards political events are coupled with an adequate factual knowledge about those events, they can ground a distinctive evaluative knowledge about those events, and such knowledge is relevant both from an epistemic and a political perspective.

Keywords

Political sophistication Political attitudes Appraisal theory of emotions Goldie Political emotions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to my supervisors, Monika Betzler and Stephan Sellmaier, for their valuable feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript. I am also grateful to the participants of the 2016 Neurophilosophy Colloquium at the LMU for our fruitful discussions, and to the anonymous referees for their constructive and insightful comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience, Research Center for Neurophilosophy and Ethics of NeuroscienceLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany

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