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How big a role do emotion and reason play in the justification of racial discrimination?


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Hi everyone!

My TOK presentation is coming up and I've decided on the title:

How big a role do emotion and reason play in the justification of racial discrimination?

MY RLS would be the execution of the man who murdered James Byrd by dragging him from his car: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-21/justice/justice_texas-dragging-death-execution_1_lawrence-russell-brewer-john-william-king-shawn-berry?_s=PM:JUSTICE

I'd talk about emotion and reason obviously and how they affect our judgement, along with our ways of justifying things, (foundationalism, coherentism, and reliabilism).

Any feedback/help would be appreciated!

Thanks

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This is, imo, definitely an interesting topic, but I'm not sure how well you could address reason. Reason doesn't seem to play a huge role in justification. We tend to justify discrimination using emotion, though I suppose you could talk about stereotypes when you discuss reasoning. It's a bit of a stretch: if we stereotype a group as being bad in some way, because of 1+ member(s) of that group, and we apply that stereotype to all members of that group, basing our hatred on the stereotype, then we are using (inductive) reasoning. Definitely let me know how it goes, and good luck!

Edited by SSJ5Goku
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This is, imo, definitely an interesting topic, but I'm not sure how well you could address reason. Reason doesn't seem to play a huge role in justification. We tend to justify discrimination using emotion, though I suppose you could talk about stereotypes when you discuss reasoning. It's a bit of a stretch: if we stereotype a group as being bad in some way, because of 1+ member(s) of that group, and we apply that stereotype to all members of that group, basing our hatred on the stereotype, then we are using (inductive) reasoning. Definitely let me know how it goes, and good luck!

Thanks for the help!

I was thinking for reason, I would put empiricism, where we can justify racism because of past experiences - it has happened before, even to the point where blacks were used as slaves.

Your idea of inductive logic is also very good :) Folk logic could possibly be applied - where we base things on our gut reactions and intuitions through past generations. Not sure how plausible that would be though.

Most of my presentation would be on emotion as you mentioned. To counter this however, I could mention the other theories of justification. The only problem with this is I'm not quite sure how closely linked these theories are to emotion and reason (TOK isn't one of my favorite - or better - subjects).

Again, thank you for the help! :)

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