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The Wrath of Reason and The Grace of Sentiment: Vindicating Emotion in Law
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy.
2015 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Why require Justice to be blind to passions? The standard model of jurisprudence offers two lines of answers: (1) Justice is about formal rationality and judging is essentially reason-giving, while emotions are irrational feelings, so justice is thus blind to passions; (2) Justice ought to be predictable to live up to the rule of law and judges should strive towards impartiality, while passions obscures judgment and instigates prejudice and partiality, so justice should thus be blind to passions, lest it decays into its very opposite. Mainstream jurisprudence also incorporates two major lines of attack against these claims: (3) Detractors argue against (1) that law suffers from indeterminacy and judges from breakfast biases; (4) detractors argue against (2) that equity requires practical reasoning when not empathy, mitigating the rigour of the law. These opinions are all grounded on specific, but often uncritically assumed, accounts of emotion. While (1), (2) and (3) are rooted in an irrationalist approach to emotion; (4) stems from a cognitivist approach to emotion. Both of these approaches are problematic. This paper attempts to shed light on the underlying accounts of emotion and highlights some problematic aspects of them. No matter if you defend (1)-(4), jurisprudents today need a better grasp on emotion in law.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington DC, 2015.
National Category
Law Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy; Practical Philosophy; Jurisprudence
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-273773OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-273773DiVA: diva2:895037
XXVII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR) Washington, DC | 27 July – 1 August 2015

Key-note at the World congress in Philosophy of Law


Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Mindus, Patricia
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