Mabini Review 8:149-173 (2019)

Most people tend to be suspicious of the role of emotions in the management of change, given those historical precedents or experiences in political communities, such as in fascist states. In these historical and experiential contexts, emotions are seen as political vectors that encourage an unthinking and uncritical political community. Martha Nussbaum, dubbed as the philosopher of emotions or feelings, has suggested that good political principles or policies are also realizable, if intently worked out to persist and to remain stable or institutionalized, over time. For example, a policy such as the redistribution of wealth requires thinking on how a community could be driven to care for people to whom they were ordinarily indifferent, by a thoughtful and constructive analysis and subsequent re-programming of the inherent emotions which forge citizens together. In this study, the focus is the imperative cultivation of positive emotions as a potential tool for human survival, as communities battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. It is posited that material conditions are waning, and humanity requires compassion; the poor needs help for their survival. Researches, however, have shown that extending alms is not easy. Not too different from other animals, human beings are narrow and shallow in their area of existential concern: caring for those nearer them, and largely indifferent to those farther away. This assumption considered, the policy challenge is to zero in on civic emotions that might cultivate the element of compassion and concern to a larger community radius. This paper also highlights preliminary proposals on how to overcome negative emotions, i.e. fear, disgust, and shame, which the study posits as hindrances antithetical to the formation of constructive civic emotions needed for human survival.
Keywords Compassion  Civic Emotions  Pandemic  Disgust  Fear and Sham
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