Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (4):398-426 (2018)

Maxime C. Lepoutre
Oxford University
According to an influential objection, which Martha Nussbaum has powerfully restated, expressing anger in democratic public discourse is counterproductive from the standpoint of justice. To resist this challenge, this article articulates a crucial yet underappreciated sense in which angry discourse is epistemically productive. Drawing on recent developments in the philosophy of emotion, which emphasize the distinctive phenomenology of emotion, I argue that conveying anger to one’s listeners is epistemically valuable in two respects: first, it can direct listeners’ attention to elusive morally relevant features of the situation; second, it enables them to register injustices that their existing evaluative categories are not yet suited to capturing. Thus, when employed skillfully, angry speech promotes a greater understanding of existing injustices. This epistemic role is indispensable in highly divided societies, where the injustices endured by some groups are often invisible to, or misunderstood by, other...
Keywords Anger  Democratic theory  Deliberation  Social epistemology  Epistemology of emotion  Nussbaum
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DOI 10.1177/1470594X18764613
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References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.

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Citations of this work BETA

Vandalizing Tainted Commemorations.Chong-Ming Lim - 2020 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (2):185-216.
The Efficacy of Anger: Recognition and Retribution.Laura Luz Silva - 2021 - In Ana Falcato (ed.), The Politics of Emotional Shockwaves. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 27-55.
Teaching Anger.Cris Mayo - 2020 - Philosophy of Education:1-19.
Self-Respect, Domination and Religiously Offensive Speech.Matteo Bonotti & Jonathan Seglow - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):589-605.

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