Emotion and anecdote in philosophical argument: The case of Havi Carel's illness

Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):33-48 (2011)
Abstract: Critics of Havi Carel's 2008 book, Illness: The Cry of the Flesh, have contended that Carel's deployment of phenomenological philosophy adds little to commonsense views about illness and that Carel relies too heavily on emotion-laden autobiographical anecdotes. Against these contentions this article argues: first, that a perfectly respectable task of philosophy is to find reasons to support pre-existing beliefs; and secondly, that Carel's use of anecdotes, while certainly appealing to readers' emotions, constitutes part of a legitimate argumentative strategy. The article links these proposals with broader debates concerning the proper task of philosophy and the role of emotionality and imagination in philosophical inquiry
Keywords literature  anecdote  fiction  narrative  imagination  film  illness  Nussbaum  emotions  Carel  reasons  Sayeau  autobiography  Mulhall  morality  Baggini  phenomenology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2010.01675.x
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Peter Singer (2005). Ethics and Intuitions. Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331 - 352.

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