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The red mist

Lepoutre, M. (2022) The red mist. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. ISSN 1559-3061 (In Press)

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An influential critique of anger holds that anger comes at an important epistemic cost. In particular, feeling angry typically makes risk less visible to us. This is anger’s ‘red mist.’ These epistemic costs, critics suggest, arguably outweigh the epistemic benefits commonly ascribed to anger. This essay argues that the epistemic critique of anger is misguided. This is not because it underestimates anger’s epistemic benefits, but rather because it overlooks the fact that anger’s red mist performs a crucial moral function. By concealing risk, the red mist helps protect the dignity and self-respect of those who live under severe and unchosen risk. This function is vitally important in non-ideal circumstances, where many are unjustly subjected to dignity-impairing risk. And it is irreplaceable, in that it cannot readily be performed by other political emotions, such as hope.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:106682
Publisher:University of Southern California

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