Philosophy has been around since 600 BC and is still being studied today. In Ancient Greek, to now, philosophy means “love of wisdom” but can be defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, truth, nature and meaning of life, especially when considered as an academic discipline. Philosophy is actually divided into smaller sub-fields such as epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified beliefs; it questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired. This field focuses on the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification. One feminist epistemologist, Alison M. Jaggar, argues that reason and emotion must be seen as interrelated and interdependent and that feelings play an essential role in attaining knowledge (Jaggar, pg. 188), in the article, “Love and Knowledge: Emotions in Feminist Epistemology”. Jaggar believes that emotions play a large part in the way we process knowledge, that she calls “outlaw emotions”. In this paper, I will argue how emotions, or outlaw emotions, play a role in that we process knowledge.
Outlaw emotions are “conventionally unacceptable emotions” (Jaggar, 194) - emotional responses that do not follow or support the values. Those who experience outlaw emotions are often “subordinated individuals who pay a disproportionately high price for maintaining the status quo. For instance, people of color are more likely to experience anger than amusement when a racist joke is recounted, and women subjected to male sexual banter are less likely to be flattered than uncomfortable or even afraid” (Jaggar, 194). Outlaw emotions are usually a negative response to values that can help identify which biases are causing errors in methods of seeking knowledge. Jaggar believes that knowledge is gained through our different emotions. She believes that emotions are the...
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