EMOTION AND ANECDOTE IN PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENT: THE CASE OF HAVI CAREL'S ILLNESS

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Abstract

Abstract: Critics of Havi Carel's 2008 book, Illness: The Cry of the Flesh, have contended that Carel's deployment of phenomenological philosophy adds little to commonsense views about illness and that Carel relies too heavily on emotion-laden autobiographical anecdotes. Against these contentions this article argues: first, that a perfectly respectable task of philosophy is to find reasons to support pre-existing beliefs; and secondly, that Carel's use of anecdotes, while certainly appealing to readers' emotions, constitutes part of a legitimate argumentative strategy. The article links these proposals with broader debates concerning the proper task of philosophy and the role of emotionality and imagination in philosophical inquiry.

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