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A Democratic Theory of Judgment$
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Linda M. G. Zerilli

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226397849

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226398037.001.0001

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The Turn to Affect and the Problem of Judgment: Making Political Sense of the Nonconceptual

The Turn to Affect and the Problem of Judgment: Making Political Sense of the Nonconceptual

Chapter:
(p.239) Nine The Turn to Affect and the Problem of Judgment: Making Political Sense of the Nonconceptual
Source:
A Democratic Theory of Judgment
Author(s):

Linda M. G. Zerilli

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226398037.003.0009

This chapter explores what the historian of science Ruth Leys has decried as the “nonintentionalism” of affect theory and its implications for critical feminist practices of judgment. To insist, as Leys does, on intentionalism as concept possession, does not adequately account for the fascination with nonconceptualism. Such fascination must be understood in relation to a wholly intellectualist view of conceptual rationality, according to which knowing how to do something involves a highly abstract and disembodied form of rule-following. Far from unique to affect theory, this view is shared by certain phenomenological philosophers and postfoundational feminist theorists who have been eager to recover the idea of human practice as a form of nonrational and nonconceptual embodied coping. Drawing on ordinary language philosophers such as Gilbert Ryle, Cavell, and Wittgenstein, the chapter seeks to uncover the misunderstandings that animate the turn to nonconceptualism as the only alternative to intellectualism.

Keywords:   affect theory, noncognitivism, Ruth Leys

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