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Romano, Benedetta (2018): The Epistemic Value of Emotions in Politics. In: Philosophia, Vol. 46, No. 3: pp. 589-608
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In this paper, I consider emotional reactions in response to political facts, and I investigate how they may provide relevant knowledge about those facts. I assess the value of such knowledge, both from an epistemic and a political perspective. Concerning the epistemic part, I argue that, although emotions are not in themselves sufficient to ground evaluative knowledge about political facts, they can do so within a network of further coherent epistemic attitudes about those facts. With regards to the political part, I argue that the contribution of emotions to evaluative knowledge about political facts, is indeed politically valuable. To develop my argument, I show first that an evaluative kind of knowledge is relevant for reaching a sophisticated level of political cognition, and second that emotions contribute distinctively to this kind of knowledge. I conclude that, when emotional experiences towards political events are coupled with an adequate factual knowledge about those events, they can ground a distinctive evaluative knowledge about those events, and such knowledge is relevant both from an epistemic and a political perspective.