“Tell Me How That Makes You Feel”: Philosophy's Reason/Emotion Divide and Epistemic Pushback in Philosophy Classrooms

Hypatia 32 (4):893-910 (2017)
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Alison Bailey has recently explored the nature of what she calls privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback or “the variety of willful ignorance that many members of dominant groups engage in when they are asked to consider both the lived experience and structural injustices that members of marginalized groups experience daily.” In this article, I want to use Bailey's argument to demonstrate how privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback is facilitated and obscured by the disciplinary tools of traditional Western philosophy. Specifically, through exploring philosophical cultures of justification and case studies, this work will reveal how students engage in privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback by deploying the reason/emotion divide and various philosophical norms and practices it underlies to protect their epistemic home turf. Then, I offer three emotion‐enhancing critical philosophical practices aimed at disrupting the ignorance‐promoting moves of privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback and, instead, engage emotion as epistemically significant.



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Allison B. Wolf
Simpson College

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[Book review] the racial contract. [REVIEW]Charles W. Mills - 1997 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (1):155-160.
Love and knowledge: Emotion in feminist epistemology.Alison M. Jaggar - 1989 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):151 – 176.
Epistemic Exploitation.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:569-590.
How is this Paper Philosophy?Kristie Dotson - 2012 - Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):3-29.

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