The path to emotionalism has been a process of elimination, striking down various authorities along the history of ideas.
The history of ideas can be roughly summed up by three main epochs: pre-modernism, modernism, and postmodernism in the mid-late 20th Century. While postmodern ideas may have been commonplace in academia, they still represented a fringe-group of thought experiments. The average person still mostly acted as if there were absolute truths and knowable facts about the world and morality. Fast forward to 2016 when the Oxford Dictionary named “post-truth” word of the year. The seeds that were sown from ivory towers years ago finally tumbled down the hill and blossomed into YouTube videos, Twitter and Facebook rants. According to emotionalism, ultimate truth can be sensed by emotions and expressed in emotional language; truth claims can be gauged by the strength of one’s emotions. If the implicit belief is that the strength of one’s emotions determines the truth of a claim, then what is the logical extension of a person not only trying to convince themselves, but others? More emotions. Louder emotions. ALL CAPS EMOTIONS.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Hillary Morgan Ferrer about her online exclusive feature article , “If I Feel It, It’s True: Combating the Rise of Emotionalism.”
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