IPW Lecture - Affective Injustice and Collective Transformative Passions

When: Thursday, 23 November 2023, 17:00. Where: Konferenzraum, Department for Political Science, NIG, 2nd floor, Universitätsstraße 7 , 1010 Vienna. Speaker: Federica Gregoratto (Freie Universität Berlin). Moderation: Fabio Wolkenstein (Department of Political Science, University of Vienna).

When: Monday, 23 November 2023, 17:00
Where: Konferenzraum, Department for Political Science, NIG, 2nd floor, Universitätsstraße 7 , 1010 Vienna

Speaker: Federica Gregoratto (Freie Universität Berlin)

Moderation: Fabio Wolkenstein (Department of Political Science, University of Vienna)



The talk investigates the power of emotions or passions to critique and transform social realities. It focusses in particular on one passion, that comes in different shapes, namely anger, rage or fury, which has been passionately debated lately.

This contribution’s starting point is Amia Srinivasan’s inspiring category of “affective injustice”. Affective injustice designates the normative conflict that arises when people are compelled, by certain social conditions, to choose between reasons that justify the moral aptness of a certain emotion (e.g. anger) and reasons of prudence suggesting that the emotion is counterproductive and should hence be dropped. How can we deal with affective injustice? The talk examines three paths: the first one, following Agnes Callard, is to make reasons of prudence count as moral reasons in themselves, and to work through an overcoming of anger (that does not dismiss anger’s moral value though). The second one, developed by Myischa Cherry, is to dismantle the counterproductivity argument and show how rage is not only morally apt but also productive when it comes to fight injustice (and in particular racial injustice). The third one, on the wake of María Lugones, proposes to dwell on the conflict at the hearth of this type of affective injustice a bit longer. Lugones’ category of second-level anger, that we can also call fury, is (perceived) not only as counterproductive but also as irrational, and, importantly, not aimed at being “recognized”. Precisely as such, Lugones seems to suggest, fury is valuable in processes of radical transformation of established social (feeling) rules, norms and structures.

"IPW Lectures" Einzelankündigungs-Schriftzuglogo des Instituts für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Wien.