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Reading: Epistemic feelings in moral experiences and moral dynamics of everyday life

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Epistemic feelings in moral experiences and moral dynamics of everyday life

Author:

Sylvia Terpe

Instituto Max Planck para la Antropología Social, DE
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Abstract

The philosophy of emotions has identified a class of affective phenomena called epistemic feelings (e.g. certainty, doubt, or surprise). Such feelings are thought to inform about the quality of one's knowledge and beliefs and to influence processes of knowledge acquisition and belief formation (1). I shall argue that these feelings also inform about the quality of one's (moral) emotions and hence are important to understand everyday moral experiences and the moral dynamics resulting from them. The works of Hans Joas are a good starting point to substantiate this argument, because he relates, albeit implicitly, some epistemic feelings to particular moral experiences (2). Inspired by this analysis of Joas, I differentiate between three ideal typical moral dynamics (moral elaboration, moral relativization and moral closure), which can be induced by specific moral experiences (3). The empirical study of epistemic feelings presents some challenges (4). But such an endeavour promises to increase our understanding of processes of moral reproduction and transformation, and of the development of phenomena like moral dogmatism, moral opportunism, and moral scepticism (5).

How to Cite: Terpe, S., (2016). Epistemic feelings in moral experiences and moral dynamics of everyday life. Digithum. (18), pp.5–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i18.2874
Published on 01 May 2016.
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