Images of Reach, Range, and Recognition: Thinking about emotions in the study of international law
Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper
Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law and Emotion (2021)
35 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 22, 2021
There is much critical potential in bringing together the philosophy of emotion and the study of international law. Narratives about legitimate political and legal authority have tended to either assume that it is possible to extricate emotions from political judgement, or to rest upon uncomplicated (and wholly demystified) assumptions about the legibility of emotions over time and place. Philosophers interested in emotion have regularly grappled with questions concerning an emotion’s reach and range (insofar that the emotion in question bears an intersubjective component), and recognition (comprehensibility) of emotions beyond one’s own social and political communities (or even beyond one’s self). Emotions contain evaluative judgments, and, as such, they strike as subjectively involved and image-laden “engagements with the world” (to quote Robert Solomon’s memorable phrase). Where evaluative judgements are embedded within the structure of an emotion, we can expect it to be scripted, at least to an extent, by time and place, which raises, in turn, questions of all sorts pertaining to reach, range, and recognition.
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