Epistemology: Jaggar 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 ield 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 Oaggar, 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”.
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In this paper, I will argue how emotions, or outlaw emotions, play role in that we process knowledge. Outlaw emotions are “conventionally unacceptable emotions” Oaggar, 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” Oaggar, 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 most direct thing we have in gaining knowledge. Emotions are especially associated with unreasonable behavior and more often in females. Jagger argues that emotions are important in decision making and acquiring knowledge. By this, Jaggar means that emotions are important tools to knowledge. Emotions are answers in to finding some meanings in life.
She also argues that the “idea of dispassionate investigation does not exist” Oaggar, 193). Many people are unaware of their emotions but this does not mean that emotions are not present. Emotions tend to change reality and therefore change ones observation of situations and experiences. The theory allows that emotion contributes greatly to knowledge. Overall, Jaggar makes the statement that emotions are not a disadvantage to knowledge, but should be a way to develop knowledge in different ways. I agree with Alison Jaggar in that emotions are the way in which one acquires knowledge.
Many women are seen as dramatic, irrational, and over emotional. “Women appear to be more emotional than men because they, along with some groups of people of color, are permitted and even required to express emotion because they like to express their feelings. I believe that emotions are the way a person goes about obtaining knowledge. For example, if a student does not feel like attending class, they are missing out on knowledge that could be applied later in life. If one feels a certain way, or reacts to a certain situation in a harsh manner, they may withdraw knowledge that could have been absorbed.
Emotions tell a person when to act certain. For example, if a child remembers the pain they felt when experiencing a painful event, they will more than likely be cautious of putting themselves in that situation again. Those who may object or disagree with me are the dominant group- white men. laggar states that “A woman may cry in the face of disaster, and a man of color may gesticulate, but a white man merely sets his Jaw. White men’s control of their emotional expression may go to the extremes of expressing their emotions, failing to develop emotionally, or even losing the capacity to experience many emotions” Oaggar, 192).
This means that white men tend to control their emotions, hide it, and not express them at any time. This leads them to not being able to identify what they are feeling; surprisingly, even at funerals. When being made fun of, these men tend to feel happiness rather than embarrassment. These men may also feel “resentment rather than gratitude for welfare payments and hand-me- owns, may be attracted to “forbidden modes of sexual expression, and may feel revulsion for socially sanctioned ways of treating children or animals” dagger, 193).
In other word, white men tend to not really care or like to express their feelings too often; they do not want to be seen emotional. Conventionally unacceptable emotions are known as “outlaw emotions. ” Outlaw emotions are distinguished by their fallacy with the dominant perception and values, which are potentially feminist emotions. These emotions become feminist when they join the females opinions and values. These emotions, outlaw emotions, which are experience, play a part in the way knowledge is processed.
Jaggar believes that knowledge is gained through our emotions. She believes that emotions are what we have for gaining knowledge and Judging situations. This, I agree with her because, to gain knowledge, we need to be able to express ourselves and see how we are feeling about a particular thing. When the emotion is express, we learn what makes us emotional and may learn how to control it by that. Overall, outlaw emotions are what leads to knowledge and the meaning of life.