I’m so excited for the 4th season of And/Or/Versus! Diane and I are going to be tackling a subject very near and dear to my heart: emotions. Specifically, emotions as entry points for understanding ourselves and how we see the world.
Listen here: Episode 21: Feeling/Reason
We kick off our season with Episode 21: Feeling/Reason by taking a look at Martha Nussbaum’s neo-Stoic stance on emotions in her article, “Emotions as Judgments of Value and Importance” from Relativism, Suffering, and Beyond. In the article, Nussbaum tackles the often-drawn dichotomy drawn between reason and emotions. It has been fairly common in Western philosophy to praise humans as reasoning creatures and to denigrate our emotional side as a holdover from our less-evolved, animalistic days. Nussbaum does a beautiful job of showing, through the example of her deep grief at her mother’s passing, that emotions, far from being irrational impulses of little value, have reasons in them and are in fact products of the ways we are subconsciously and consciously analyzing the world, making things important to us, and assessing how different situations, people, and things impact our well-being. Emotions are the embodied results of our reasoning about the world.
Oh yeah, and we dig into eudaimonia. Get excited for THAT.
This episode set the stage for how we will be looking at emotions, and we’ll spend the rest of the season looking at specific emotional experiences. Next week we’ll be talking about anger/compassion and have topics such as shame/guilt, pride/pride, fear/anxiety, and jealousy/contentment on the docket.
I hope you will take a listen and let us know your thoughts! If you have a particular emotion or aspect of emotional experience you’d like us to discuss, please do let us know. I think this area is really exciting with lots of opportunity for deep discussion and introspection, so we would be thrilled to talk about something you see in the emotional life that is worth digging into.
Header image from PBS.org.