Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Progressive expression of anger : communicative anger in contexts of counterpublics Kojic, Mladen 2012

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


24-ubc_2012_fall_kojic_mladen.pdf [ 314.45kB ]
JSON: 24-1.0073161.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0073161-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0073161-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0073161-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0073161-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0073161-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0073161-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

PROGRESSIVE EXPRESSION OF ANGER: COMMUNICATIVE ANGER IN CONTEXTS OF COUNTERPUBLICS by  Mladen Kojic B.A. (Hons.), The University of Winnipeg, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Political Science)  The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)  September 2012  © Mladen Kojic, 2012  Abstract This paper investigates Audre Lord’s intuitive claim that anger is a progressive emotion, developing the theoretical context that underwrites this critical insight. Drawing on Martha Nussbaum’s work on emotions, the paper argues that anger is a cognitive and evaluative emotion, containing assertoric propositions which are amenable to discourse. Beginning form the cognitivist view of emotions, the normative grammar of a progressive expression of anger is brought into the preview of Jürgen Habermas’ discourse ethics. Despite the strategic nature of anger as an assertion of particularistic grievance, the work of Arash Abizadeh expands communicative action to encompass speech acts with perlocutionary aims, repositioning the propositional content of anger as the motivationally efficacious component of discursive engagement. This however is only achieved within the bounded space of institutions nurturing of civic engagement through the medium of talk. The later part of the paper develops the dialectic between the institutional space of the public sphere and that of its counterpublics, where diffuse experiences of anger are conditioned and refined by the plurality of perspectives comprising counterpublics for the purpose of therapeutic grievance airing, identity confirming discourse, and the dialogical development of political interests.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract..................................................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents..................................................................................................................................iii 1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................1 2. A Cognitive and Evaluative Approach to Anger: Object Relations Theory and the Emotions..........3 2.1 Qualification of Judgment and Cultural Variation .......................................................................5 3. Relationship Between the Judgment of Anger and Reflexive Problematization ...............................9 4. Communicative Anger as Progressive Anger...................................................................................11 5. The Motivational Efficacy of Anger ................................................................................................17 6. Anger in the Context of Counterpublics ..........................................................................................21 7. The Productive Benefits of Discursively Formulated Anger in Contexts of Counterpublics ..........25 8. Symphony of Anger: The Shaping of a Measured Anger ................................................................29 9. Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................36 Work Cited ...........................................................................................................................................38  iii  1. Introduction Anger is an action oriented emotion. It accompanies the politically significant judgments of injury and injustice, as is an appropriate response to violations causing harm. Anger also pervades political performance, as it signals sincerity and commitment to the ties that bind political communities. Therefore, it is no wonder that anger is a ubiquitous aspect of our contemporary political landscape, particularly in times of distress. Social movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street exemplify the emotion’s place in politics. Such movements raise questions about how to reflect on anger’s place in politics, and about its value as a medium of political engagement. Attempts to answer these questions are initially complicated, where although anger is an appropriate response to injustice and illegality, it is also a destructive emotion with a tendency to forestall discourse and compromise. The ambivalent place of anger in the practice of politics appears intuitively justified. The tension between an expression of a justified anger and the problems resulting from its excesses are evident to even a casual political observer. Nevertheless, Audre Lorde, an eminent theorist in the radical feminist tradition, argues that anger can indeed serve progressive ends. It is this insight that inspires the present inquiry into the conditions within which anger can be said to serve progressive ends. This paper argues that if anger is understood as a deeply cognitive and evaluative process of embodied cognition, then, in contexts where anger is addressed communicatively and in institutionalized spaces of discourse, the emotion can both mobilize capacities for solidarity and resistance, and motivate the desire for discursive conflict resolution. Section two, drawing on object relations theory, arguing that emotions are deeply cognitive and evaluative forms of judgment. Section three develops the implication of a cognitivist approach to anger, and argues that to get angry is a processual accomplishment occurring after a person has gained the capacity to judge. Having recast anger as a deeply evaluative and cognitive emotion with specific propositional content, it becomes possible to identify Audre Lorde's 1  progressive anger as expressions of communicative anger. Section four develops the normative dimension of the argument for a progressive form of anger, where communicatively formulated anger is undergirded by norms of discourse ethic facilitating its progressive expression. Incorporating anger into the theory of communicative action requires augmenting the boundaries between communicative and strategic action, and section five, incorporating Arash Abizadeh’s scholarship, redraws the boundaries of communicative action to accommodate for the incorporation of emotions as the motivationally efficacious mode of claim-making. Section six through eight shifts from the theoretical work of reconstructing a communicative form of anger, to the space of counterpublics. Here the paper develops the interaction of norms of discourse ethics and the motivational force of the judgment of anger, arguing that in the context of counterpublics judgements of anger that are conditioned by the noms of discourse ethics productively coalesce to augment the participatory privileges of dominant social groups in the formal public sphere and redirect deliberative failure towards further discourse.  2  2. A Cognitive and Evaluative Approach to Anger: Object Relations Theory and the Emotions The false bifurcation between reason and emotion reifies what in fact is merely an analytical distinction between two dimensions of the same human experience. A more accurate understanding regards the processes of cognition and emotion as inherently tied to the body, which mediates the totality of the human experience. Therefore the separation of the body from cognition serves only as a heuristic device of philosophy, which is wholly unrepresentative of the actual and occurring modes of relating to the world. Object relation theory, as presented by Martha Nussbaum, convincingly argues that the human condition of infantile vulnerability and human interdependence is responsible for the development of emotions, in that the process of childhood maturation depends on emotions for the evolution of the ego and self (Winnicott). Nussbaum expands on the psychoanalytic insights of object relations theory to offer a reconstruction of the process of infantile development and human socialization. Her aim is to elaborate the normative implications that arise from the emotively thick maturation process and the human capacity for morality. Nussbaum’s account starts with His Majesty the Baby, Freud's famous phrase that captures the initial experience of infantile omnipotence, which is ignorant of the separateness of the environment form the self (Nussbaum, On Nineteen). She argues that human infants are born without a capacity to differentiate between themselves and the world around them. Instead, they only progressively distinguish between persons as instruments for satisfaction or nonsatisfaction, comfort or noncomfort (Nussbaum On Nineteen 286). The condition of vulnerability gives rise to the emotions which are central to the processual movement of the infant away from his or her narcissistic and instrumental orientation to the persons in his or her environment, mediated by the emotions of fear, rage, triumph and primitive shame, towards the gradual realization that his or her caregivers are separate and distinct 3  others with their own independent existence (Nussbaum On Nineteen). This complex process ushers in the end to the golden age of omnipotence, during which the child begins to experience emotions of sadness and guilt by gradually recognizing that their instrumental and aggressive desires for mastery and control were inappropriately directed at persons whom they also loves (Nussbaum Upheavals). Therefore, recognizing the complex relationship between autonomy of the self and its interdependence with others is not an innate capacity. On the contrary, it is an achievement realized through the course of the maturation process during which the child becomes aware of the ambivalence of his or her condition through the emotional ties to objects and persons in his or her facilitating environment (Nussbaum Upheavals). This brief sketch of childhood maturation reveals the relationship between emotions and the development of the human disposition to engage in moral reflection. Human moral capacities spring from the embryonic form of recognition and respect for both the interdependence and separateness of persons, that is nurtured through an emotionally rich experience of the gradual differentiation of the self from the surrounding environment (Nussbaum Upheavals). The rich account of the emotions serves to point a way to a genetic relation between the condition of human vulnerability and sociability, and moral paradigms that presuppose a degree of mutual consideration and recognition. This picture of the relationship between emotions and morality lends significant support to this paper’s attempt to situate emotions as forms of propositional claims that are subject to discourse. This account of emotions substantially undermines the mind/body dualism reified by scientism and crude Cartesianism, as it seeks to emphasize the cognitive and evaluative dimension of emotions. It presents a picture of emotions as inextricable from the experience of embodied cognition. The procession of maturation reveals emotions as modes of being in the world, where emotions function as the affective attachments to the objects and persons that are central in a person's life. Therefore  4  emotions involve what Nussbaum terms eudaimonistic evaluations (Nussbaum Upheavals). Emotions are centrally concerned with one’s personal flourishing, as the attachments that are constituent of a life that is one’s own (Nussbaum Upheavals). This perspective emphasizes the importance and specificity of the objects of human attachment, both as distinct others, and as integral and constitutive components of the scheme of life ends that is one’s own (Nussbaum Upheavals). Aristotle is central to this paper’s argument that anger is both evaluative and cognitive. He argues that “to get angry is easy. To do it to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way – that is hard” (Abizadeh). The Aristotelean perspective emphasizes that anger has propositional content that is specific to the life and context of an individual. Nussbaum argues that emotions are more than perceptions for Aristotle, they are deeply constituted by judgement; arguing that emotions “always involve thought of an object combined with thought of the object's saliency or importance; in that sense, they always involve appraisals or evaluation” (Upheavals 23). From this perspective, getting angry is a deeply evaluative and cognitive process, during which anger arises at the moment when one has judged that another person is responsible for causing injury to something or someone that they values. This means that the emotion of anger requires a complex set of beliefs, such that experiencing anger requires a person to: make a eudaimonistic judgement (that damage has occurred to him or herself, or to something or someone that is essential to his or her scheme of ends); determine the significance or size of the injury or damage (that the damage is significant rather than trivial); determine and identify a cause (that it was done by someone); and establish intentionality (that the injurious act was committed knowingly) (Nussbaum Upheavals). These beliefs are integral to the identity of anger.  2.1 Qualification of Judgment and Cultural Variation The above account of anger should be qualified however, in that its emphasis on judgment and 5  cognition may lead to the false conclusion that anger is necessarily always a product of reasoned thought and deliberative discourse. The term cognitive is not analogous to the normatively and conceptually thicker term of reason, as cognition does not demand reflexivity and justification. To suggest that emotions have propositional content simply means that emotions are about something, and are constituted by a first-person commitment and acceptance to a belief of the way things appear to be (Nussbaum Upheavals). The appearance of “the way things are” is always contestable. As with any belief, a belief about the appearance of the way things are need not be accurate or true for a person to subscribe to its validity. Nussbaum argues that habits, attachments, and the sheer weight of events often serve to extract assent in everyday life. Therefore there need not even be volitional acceptance of propositional content, as a product of reflexive process of judgment and justification. Rather, the prerequisite assertoric propositions constituting anger can vary both in their levels of reflexivity, and accuracy. Though the point being that without these beliefs, anger will either simply not develop, or will assume a different form. For example, if one were to judge that the intentional actions of another caused damage to something that is of little value, then that person would likely not get angry. Similarly, if the damage happened to substantially injure another, but failed to affect anything that is within the purview of one's own life ends, the situation would more appropriately occasion sympathy. Although anger requires particular assertoric propositions, the variation in both the value and meaning of empirical expression of anger is an attribute of differing cultural traditions. Pierre Bourdieu argues that emotions are “modes of response to and action within the world that are grounded in, and given shape and direction by, systems of enduring dispositions” (Bourdieu and Acquaint 128). Bourdieu's perspective emphasizes the productive role that social systems of norms play in the expression and meaning of emotions, where the empirical variation seen in the occasions for anger reflects the diversity amongst culturally differing lifeworlds. Many scholars have convincingly argued  6  that human societies demonstrate a cross-cultural horizon of ends. However, the plurality of the empirical occasions for anger do not reveal a decisive direction towards any specific moral paradigm. Anger can arise for any number of reasons, by no means all of which are justifiable or just. However, what is significant for the purpose of the present discussion is the propositional nature of anger, and the extent to which this propositional nature makes anger amenable to discourse. Anger offers many examples of cross cultural variation, both in its manifest behaviour and its specific cultural value and meaning. This is clearly evidenced by a contrast between Roman culture, as described by Seneca, and that of the Utku Inuit. Seneca reflects a culture where the ideal masculine man is expected to have a strong attachment to honour, and therefore ought to respond eagerly to slights or damage with anger (Nussbaum Upheavals). Contrastingly, the Utku teach that anger is always a sign of immaturity that infantilizes the person (Nussbaum Upheavals). Such a variation in the value of an entire category of an emotion certainly leads to a change in the frequency of the expression of anger within a culture. Furthermore, it alters the very experience of the emotion (Nussbaum Upheavals). However, it does not change the identity of anger as the belief that something one values has been injured by the action of another. The reconstruction of the propositional content of anger enables sensitivity to the cultural plurality of meanings and values attributed to anger. It also gives conceptual coherence to the social practice of evaluating, and differentiating between, different emotions. The plasticity of emotions is precisely the point of the present discussion. The socially taught rules governing anger in contemporary democracies of the Western world reveal an aversion to anger born out of confusion that does not fully acknowledge the cognitive and evaluative dimension of anger. Upon closer inspection, anger reveals itself to be analogous to more conventional forms of claimmaking. Therefore what follows will serve to clarify the conditions that realize Lorde's and Aristotle's  7  insight that anger can be both justified and right. As Nussbaum work correctly punctuates, the attempts to exclude anger from the repertoire of political performance would remove an essential force for justice. However, before expounding on anger as a mode of claim-making that is amenable to discursive problematization, the present perspective that sees anger as having propositional content requires a clarification of the process by which these judgments are made. To establish that anger can be a force for justice, such that anger is both justified and right, it is first necessary to clarify the capacities that allow persons to get angry. Getting angry must be recognized as a substantial accomplishment for the marginalized and the oppressed. The subordinated can achieve this only at the moment they depart from perspectives of the dominant and assert their power and legitimacy to assess and problematize the social relations of their lifeworld. As long as the relations of domination remain naturalized, the subordinated will not respond with anger to their condition of injustice. Therefore, to get angry is an accomplishment that is dependent on the human capacity for reflexive problematization. The following discussion develops the critical faculty of reflexive problematization and its relationship to the judgment of anger.  8  3. Relationship Between the Judgment of Anger and Reflexive Problematization The reflexive problematization forms the ontological basis of the political. Robert W. Cox’s now ubiquitous insight that “[t]heory is always for someone and for some purpose,” reveals on reflection that the prospect of atheoretical objectivity is another illusion of social science (128). However, this insight has lead to some confusion within the tradition of critical theory, where it is taken to mean that everything is a priori political. Insights from pragmatism and sociology are instructive here. They offer a more convincing ontology of the political, arguing that social relationships become political only in empirical contexts in which persons have engaged in a process of reflexive problematization (Giddens). This tradition offers a more complex sociological account of politics, one that is free of the metaperspectivism dominating the social sciences. Theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens, as well as the philosophic tradition of American pragmatism, argue that social science should not reflect on the objective rationality of particular episodes of conflict. Instead, they posit a more useful approach, one that investigates the process of perspective-taking of actors involved in the specific context that are under investigation. What emerges is a view of the discipline of politics as a situated endeavour, inextricable from the discursive capacities of the persons that are involved. Therefore, the very possibility for critique depends on the subjective capacities of actors, who are tasked to evaluate and determine the appropriateness of the social relations of their own lifeworld (Giddens). Anthony Giddens argues that social actors are embedded in cultural communities comprising tacit and largely unquestioned stocks of knowledge informing and shaping social conduct. These knowledges enable mutual intelligibility among person, coordination of action, and even the subjective capacity necessary to cognition (Giddens). They mediate the totality of our human experience, and for the most part, these aspects of our cultural lifeworlds are taken for granted. This is evident in the 9  example of gender norms, according to which persons are not required to justify, or even think about, the appropriate gender performance. These pre-given components of our cultural knowledgeability comprise the knowhow of our cultural competence. This sociological insight leads to the politically relevant point that social relationships become the subject of politics only at the moment when persons actualize their capacity for reflexive problematization. Therefore, Giddens delineates between the background (taken for granted) knowledges of our cultural lifeworlds, and the knowledge that persons gain through reflexive scrutiny. This allows us to make an analytical distinction that substantially clarifies the ontology of the political: social relationships previously taken for granted as natural or preordained become the subject of scrutiny, and thus are thematized as political. Getting angry over a felt injustice is thus in itself a substantial accomplishment. It entails a judgment that something one values, such as one's culturally held norm of justice, has been violated by the actions of another. The above discussion of the levels of agent’s knowledgeability offers an analytic breakdown of the cognitive dynamic of reflexive problematization. However, in order to view anger as more than merely a recognition and response to one's own culturally valued norms, and to develop the progressive potential of anger, it is necessary to give an account of the normative features of a communicative expression of anger that imbue the emotion with progressive potential.  10  4. Communicative Anger as Progressive Anger Giddens and Bourdieu, from their sociological perspective, locate the referents for evaluation within the normative framework of particular cultural traditions, and the pragmatic efficacy of action as strategy. However, their account does not sufficiently develop the normative dimension of the capacity for reflexive problematization. As discussed above, in order to problematize relationships within one’s social context, it is necessary to subject them to scrutiny and to assess them as unjust or problematic. This means that reflexive problematization always needs to ground its evaluations of the world within a normative framework. As Bourdieu suggests, if the judgments of the marginalized are to be critical, then marginalized persons must break form their ordinary dispositions, which take the point of view of the dominant (Bourdieu and Wacquant). This break from the prevailing disposition always needs justification. As such, from a first-person perspective, what constitutes a critical judgment is not the product of custom, but rather the accomplishment of evaluation and critical reflection. The break from ordinary disposition takes the form of asertoric propositions that claim, on the basis of some justification or grounding, that the dominant status quo is in some way problematic. As such, the propositional content of critical judgments is always already subject to discourse (Habermas Moral). This means that in order to speak coherently about the capacities of the marginalized to critically engage in political struggle and resistance, and to give normative credence to their departure from dominant dispositions, it is necessary to reconstruct a normative framework that is capable of grounding judgments that meaningful differentiate between self-determination, domination, and oppression. This normative theory is precisely what gives coherence to the critical language of dominance, resistance, ideology, and power. Therefore, a theory that frames the very language of both the scholarly and political engagement is implicit in critical literature referenced here; therefore if the present claim that anger can be a force for social justice and the defence of the oppressed is to have any 11  force, it is necessary to set out in more detail the content of a normative framework that grounds the capacity for resistance and action in something other than the arbitrary struggle for power. Audre Lorde's intuition that the normative grammar of anger is “a grief [over the] distortions between peers” suggests that anger in marginalized political cultures manifests in normatively significant ways (Bickford 125). Susan Bickford, following Lorde, argues that “anger is an energy directed toward another in an attempt to create a relationship between subjects that is not ‘distorted’ (made unjust) by hierarchies of power” (Bickford 125). This perspective reveals that anger's progressive moment is actualized when it is conditioned by norms of participatory parity, autonomy, and reciprocal recognition. This is consonant with the normative work of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, which recognizes and respects the norm of discursive inclusivity and participatory parity implicit in Bickford and Lord's accounts of progressive anger. Within this intellectual tradition, Jürgen Habermas offers the most cogent theoretical exposition of the norms of discursive inclusivity and participatory parity. His work focuses on reconstructing the pragmatic presuppositions immanent in linguistic communication, theorizing the ethical forms of interaction fostered by discourse that is oriented to mutual understanding. Within this broad project, Habermas delineates between communicative and strategic action, where the communicative mode of engagement is oriented to mutual understanding, and stands as the primary and unavoidable form of social interaction (Habermas Moral). Communicative interactions are regulated by the normative presuppositions immanent to language, therefore they also serve as the critical resource for constructing ethical forms of interaction. These presuppositions form the rules that give competent language users the capacity to coordinate interactions predictably and meaningfully. Although these presuppositions are not always realized in empirical contexts, they nevertheless must always already be presupposed if communicative relationships are to function as they ordinarily do (Apel). Such presuppositions form  12  the normative structure of communicative action, where interlocutors must recognize one another as accountable and capable actors if they expect one another to take a position on a speech act offer (Habermas Moral 190). In this condition individuals are dependent on each other for recognition, thus everyone shares in a universal condition where his or her autonomy and individuality are mutually validated through their participation in discourse (Habermas Individuation 186). An illustrative example, which also serves as the inspiration for Habermas' project of discourse ethics, is Immanuel Kant's parasitism of lying thesis. Kant argues that in order for lying to serve the desired effect of deception, all competent language users must already presuppose that the ordinary use of language is predicated on communication through truth-telling. To give a more relevant example, if a person wishes to gain the compliance of another by addressing him or her with an offer of an argument, then what is implicitly presumed is a modicum of mutual recognition and equality among the interlocutors. To address someone with an offer of a reason is to presuppose that they are capable of understanding and responding in kind. The philosophically significant point is not that speech cannot vary and take multiplicity of context specific forms. Indeed, it is common to encounter insincere justifications and manipulative arguments in discourse. Instead, the significant point is that for speech to function as it ordinarily does, there must exist a framework of rules that coordinate its function. As such, the existence of a correspondence gap between particular speech situations and the pragmatic presuppositions of discourse ethics (as evidenced in contexts where persons use manipulative arguments or where asymmetrical power relations distort the participatory parity of interlocutors) does not demonstrate the paradigm's conceptual folly, but in fact stands as its raison d'être. In order to have a critical lexicon that includes terms like; insincerity, lying, manipulation, distortion, it is necessary to have a framework of presupposed rules that serves as the normative referent against which competent language users can evaluate and problematize speech acts.  13  If we take emotions as having propositional content, and as expressing the intersubjective everyday intuitions into which all are socialized, then it follows that, in instances in which anger manifests, it is possible to evaluate and discursively problematize both the propositional content of emotions, and the broader social norms governing their appropriate expression. When a person becomes angry over an instance of injustice, he or she is responding to the violation of a norm that is integral to his or her understanding both of self and their society. Actions violating the integrity of another's valued ends can manifest in many context and culturally specific ways. However, in light of Habermas’ discourse ethics, what is relevant is that, in contexts of post-enlightenment modernity, where authority and legitimacy is established through reason-giving and justification (rather than being a mere edict of sacred authority) anger has the potential to assume a discursive form. In situations where a person has become angry over a felt injustice or wrongdoing by the actions of another, that person is perfectly capable of expressing him or herself privately and refusing further engagement. Emotional thoughts do indeed reflect a recalcitrance to change through discourse. This is because emotional thoughts are integral elements to one's own sense of well-being, which often cannot be altered without difficult and often painful challenges to the very notion of self (Nussbaum Upheavals). What is crucial for the present argument is that anger is also open to discourse through the offer of an excuse. Excuses have the potential of reframing injurious events, and even to avert anger. Speech acts such as “she didn't mean it that way” or “he couldn’t help it” serve to reformulate events and avert anger (Habermas Moral 63). The excuse speech act can problematize the competency of the interlocutors, or offer an alternative meaning to an injurious act. In both instances, an excuse serves to clarify the situation from the perspective of another (Habermas Moral). When a person chooses to offer an excuse to qualify an injurious event, they compel the injured party to evaluate the validity of the excuse speech act, essentially urging the injured party to reflect on  14  the alternative framings of the act by taking account of the various perspectives of the parties involved. When a person is confronted with a speech act qualifying his or her injury with a justification, the injured party reflects on the act by abstracting away from the particularity of the I. Expressed in Habermas’ phraseology, the injured party substitutes the performative attitude of a participant in interaction with the objectivating attitude of the hypothetical nonparticipant observer (Habermas Moral). The injured party can either accept or decline the offer of an excuse on the basis of his or her evaluation of the situation. The crucial insight lies in the recognition of the difference between the monological reflection of the injured party on the injurious event, and the moment of dialogical evaluation during which the interlocutors adopt the objectivating attitude of the hypothetical nonparticipant observer. With an offer of an excuse, the injured party is compelled to address the situation discursively. This framing of the situation contains an paradox. The emotional experience of anger is only accessible to persons through their own embodied experience. This makes it difficult to conceptualize the positionality of the objectivating attitude that is free of the particularism of its origin. Habermas, contra the monological and utilitarian philosophical framework of the original position, has a practical solution to the problem of the general will. Similarly to the approach of the original position, attempting to understand the situation and perspective of the others requires the appropriation of hypothetical role-taking (Calhoun). However, Habermas’ practical solution diverges from the original position in that the heuristic of the original position suffers from the aforementioned paradox, in that the exercise of role-taking is conducted outside the light of the public sphere. This exchange of public reason-giving subjects arguments to the scrutiny of the public. Public scrutiny involves evaluation by all, from the multiple standpoints of the plurality characteristic of the human condition. Further, the legitimacy of any consensus reached relies on the discourse being judged  15  by all as reasonably free of manipulation, exclusion, self-deception, oppression and all other distortions to participatory parity (Fraser). This dialectic is precisely what allows the previously discussed capacity for reflexive problematization to realize its progressive potential. Habermas is instructive here as he incorporates the perspective that attributes the efficacy of norms as the product of power and socialization.  But even more crucially, he also incorporates processes of perspective-taking and  reason-giving, in the context of discourse ethics, that are prerequisite capacities to the very possibility of critique.  16  5. The Motivational Efficacy of Anger However, the significance of anger is more than just its capacity to thematize particular grievances as embodied forms of claim-making. The importance of emotions to discourse is revealed in Arash Abizadeh’s incisive criticism that “if what explains a speech act's power to 'rationally motivate a hearer' is its 'rationally motivating force', we might do well to ask what this consists in, and what its is...we might persist in asking what motivates that 'acceptance'... or how it is a 'force' (10). This is a common critique of Habermas, as it rather appears that in his account reason is the decisive force motivating action. Abizadeh further argues that even Kant recognized that rational and moral action is motivated by the respect for moral rules – respect being a feeling. Here a careful and generous reading of Habermas, like that of Arash Abizadeh, reveals that emotions can be centrally incorporated into the theory of communicative action, rather than serving as a mere addendum to what reason has already accomplish. Following Aristotle, Abizadeh develops a critical supplement to Habermas that repositions emotions as integral components of discourse and action, integrating persuasion as a constitutive component of communicative action. For Aristotle, the guiding end of rhetoric is not merely to persuade, but “to see the available means of persuasion in each case” (Abizadeh 21). As such, rhetoric resembles the art of technê, which is constituted by both external goods and internally constitutive goods (Abizadeh). A useful analogy is the practice of medicine. The ultimate goal of the Art of Medicine, or its external good, is the preservation and promotion of health and well-being of the patient (Abizadeh). However, the practice of medicine is guided by standard procedures and rules of good medical practice that constitute the art’s guiding constitutive good. This guiding good directs the practitioner to the successful execution of the external good of health and well-being of the patient (Abizadeh). This means that a doctor can perform the craft well by correctly implementing the 17  procedures and rules of medicine, even if she fails at accomplishing the external good of preserving the patient’s life (Abizadeh). The relationship between external and guiding goods is not dichotomized. Instead, its guiding goods are subordinated and nested within the external goods (Abizadeh). Therefore an art without a clear relationship between guiding and external goods would fail to be viable. The procedures and rules constituting and guiding an art’s practice must be designed to successfully facilitate its particular ends (Abizadeh). However, Abizadeh argues that the relationship between guiding and external goods is not always so linear. The pursuit of given ends such as happiness is perhaps best accomplished indirectly. Rhetoric for Aristotle is one such art, where the guiding good is not direct persuasion, rather it is to see the available means of persuasion in each case (Abizadeh). This is evident in the example of a courtroom, which although not a perfect example of communicatively oriented discourse is nevertheless illustrative of the indirect and nested relationship evident in rhetoric. In a courtroom, the external good is ascertaining the facts of the matter and fairly applying the law. However, the guiding good instructs the prosecution and defence to act as adversaries, rather than pure truth seekers, slanting the factual and legal evidence in opposing directions. Because of this, Abizadeh concludes that sometimes the external good of discourse is “best served mediately” (22). Therefore, he argues by analogy that the external good of reaching understanding in communicative action is perhaps best accomplished indirectly through the constitutive guiding goods of the art of rhetoric. Discourse’s external good indeed is in reaching understanding, but its guiding goods are more than just rational persuasion or the pursuit of better argument. Instead, its guiding good involves attempting to persuade others that something meaningful has been violated, and showing that what is violated is inextricable from what it means to be a person and a member of their community. According to the guiding good, a participant in discourse attempts to persuade another that the very  18  fabric that makes ethical or moral vocabulary intelligible has been violated and needs redress (Abizadeh). In order for a claim of injustice to make sense, it must be presumed that the person violating a social norm is also obliged to follow the violated norm. For one cannot accuse a person of violating a norm unless he or she first presupposes that the offending party is also a subject of the ethical community of which the norm is a constitutive part. Therefore the very terms of discourse over a felt violation or injury reflects the commitments of the injured party to the breached social norms. The point is not just that even persons with an interests in promoting a particular position (perlocutionary aim) may still advance the goals of discourse. More significantly, this reformulation makes space for a fuller account of what motivates persons to engage in discourse. Incorporating persuasion elaborates the link between emotions and communicative action. Anger is not only a emotional judgment that an injurious act has been committed against something or someone one cares about; it is also a constitutive element of discourse. The Aristotelian approach emphasizes the felt experience of the emotional state of anger as an upheaval of affect. But even more crucially, the Aristotelian approach theorizes the inextricable element of judgement involved in the process of getting angry, as well as one's eudaimonistic attachment to what has been injured. Therefore, it is the place of the eudaimonistic judgment that is essential to an account of the motivations for engaging in discourse. In practical discourse characterized by anger over a felt violation or injustice, the injured party’s commitment to the restitution of the violated norm serves to motivate him or her to seek redress. This critical adjunct positions anger as a motivationally efficacious component of practical discourse. Since social actors are both constituted by and constitute the norms of their lifeworld, their commitments to the procedures and outcomes of communicative action are more than just the product of their rational uptake of reciprocal commitments to discourse; they reflect the full breadth of embodied commitments to both the value of the injured object or person as well as the norms regulating communicative  19  interaction. Anger, when discursively formulated, addresses the human condition of togetherness. Claiming that an injustice has occurred also acknowledges that both the injured and offending parties are subject to the violated norms. This engagement is often adversarial and heated, reflecting the agonistic form valorized by the theorists of decisionist politics. However, contra this tradition, the Aristotelian and Habermasian frame can account for the intersubjective ties, which make claims of injustice a part of the normative framework of discourse.  20  6. Anger in the Context of Counterpublics At the core of this paper’s argument for the place of emotions in political discourse is a recognition of humans as aspiring, vulnerable, needy, and insecure. Human interdependence reflects the centrality of the community to achieving collective ends and individual flourishing. Emotions, thus reflect both eudemonic attachments as well as the limitations of individual autonomy. The ambivalence of human interdependence demands simultaneous respect for the separateness of others, and acknowledgment of profound dependence. This dependence is not merely limited to the resources necessary for the reproduction of physical life. Dependence is also integral to the maturation process and the emergence of ego and self. Ego identity – or the I – has intersubjectivity at its centre. The very notion of self is achieved through emotively thick communicative relationships that serve as the medium through which recognition is attained (Habermas Individuation 178). As such, acknowledging mutual codependence and material need as prerequisites for the subjective and discursive capacities necessary for effective agency, illuminates the political problems stemming from existing social and economic inequalities. When the subordinated demand justice, they not only get angry, they also speak and seek redress for the injustice committed. This significant achievement reflects the shift in disposition that Bourdieu saw as the precondition for action and resistance, according to which the marginalized gain the capacity, and assume the right, to evaluate social relations and deem them unjust. However, this capacity to engage discursively in the deliberative space of the public sphere elides the complexities of the existing social and economic inequality that stands in the way of participatory equality, and often leads to deliberative failure in empirical contexts of discourse. What the following discussion develops is the place of anger within the institutionalized spaces of discourse as a significant force motivating persons to develop the very capacities they need in order to actualize the norm of participatory parity 21  within the formal public sphere. Institutions host, aggregate, and organize individuals, but even more significantly, they are productive spaces. As stated above, subjectivities develop intersubjectively, in the sense that selfconsciousness is formed through symbolically mediated interaction between persons engaged in communicative relationships (Habermas Individuation 77). Nancy Fraser addresses the point tersely, stating that person’s preferences, interests, and identities are not “given exogenously in advance of public discourse and deliberation” (18). Preferences, interests, and identities are not merely antecedents of deliberation; they are also products of the intersubjective and communicative interactions of lifeworlds (Fraser 18). Therefore, the accomplishment of attaining the capacity for effective political agency depends on institutions that support the basic material needs of persons and communities, and nurture capacities necessary to develop subjectivities capable of discursive political action. Similarly, anger requires institutional care and guidance in order to find its expression mediately through communicative action bounded by discourse ethics. This means that institutions reflect a dual task: they provide the material and social resources required for the socialization of empowered and capable citizens; and they form the normative framework that structures social interactions discursively. Therefore, before anger can find its progressive expression as an exercise of communicative claim-making and as the appropriate emotion accompanying the judgment of injustice and harm, first the context of its expression must be undergirded by a form of life that “meets it halfway” (Habermas Moral 224). Habermas argues that a modicum of congruence is required between discourse ethics and the lifeworld practices of socialization and education. For Habermas, if moral insights are to remain effective in practice, morality must overlap with socio-political institutions (225). In highly rationalized democratic societies, persons have access to institutional infrastructures according to which their expressions of a bounded discursive anger can be framed as a force for justice  22  and the defence of the oppressed. Nancy Fraser’s work on the multiplicity of public spheres brings into focus the relationship between the institutions of democratic society and the expression of a discursive form of anger. The idea of the public sphere is the concept that elaborates the features of modern society that allows political association to be organized through the “medium of talk” (Fraser 3). However, Fraser argues that the bourgeois public sphere is rife with stratification and inequality. Because of this, inegalitarian societies are unable to achieve the norm of participatory parity necessary for the realization of the progressive potential of a democratic mode of governance (Fraser). The processes that are responsible for the stratification of contemporary democratic polities are a feature of both cultural and economic spheres of life, and they must seek their redress through strategies that promote greater economic and status equality. Leaving aside the implications of Fraser's argument for institutions of wealth redistribution and social assistance as prerequisites for democracy, the aspects of her argument that are relevant to the present discussion concern the role of counterpublics as spaces of discourse that promote and expand participatory parity in contexts of highly stratified societies. Fraser argues that the existence of counterpublics partially ameliorates the persisting problem of social stratification of formally equal citizens. She argues that Habermas' account of a single and homogenous public sphere is not representative of the historical practice of democracy. Drawing on revisionist historiography, she argues that “contemporaneous with the bourgeois public there arose a host of competing counterpublics, including nationalist publics, popular peasant publics, elite women’s publics and working class publics” (7). Fraser's scholarship develops the politically dynamic relationship between the formal public sphere and the plurality of alternative and subaltern public spaces, where in the formal public sphere, the myth of inclusivity elides the various status markers that determine legitimate participation in the public sphere. Thus counterpublics emerge out of a history of  23  status differentiation, and a social reality of discrimination, oppression, and exclusion, where they stand as a markers of this history, which can lead to further marginalization and overt political oppression. Even more crucially, counterpublics are institutionalized spaces of association and discourse that challenge also the false inclusivity of the formal public sphere. Counterpublics therefore serve a vital function in stratified democratic societies.  24  7. The Productive Benefits of Discursively Formulated Anger in Contexts of Counterpublics Revisionist historiography, according to Fraser, demonstrates that counterpublics are existing features of democratic societies, which serve as indispensable locals for the marginalized to break form the dominant disposition and “formulate oppositional interpretations of their identities, interests, and needs” (13). Counterpublics are settings for the development of capacities necessary for public engagement. They are therapeutic spaces, which alleviate the psychological burden of marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion. Counterpublics are spaces in which the marginalized can “withdraw” and “regroup” in anticipation of further engagement, and cultivate the necessary skills for “agitational activity” (Fraser 14). Counterpublics facilitate a therapeutic function as safe-spaces for the airing of grievances in a context of mutuality, solidarity, and comfort, with high degrees of relative equality amongst the marginalized persons that occupy those spaces. As such, counterpublics allow marginalized persons to actualize the therapeutic benefits of undistorted recognition. The denial of participatory parity within the formal public sphere negates the very possibility of communicative interaction, which is the medium for the reciprocal exchange of recognition. The therapeutic function of these spaces is best understood through the theoretical prism offered by Anthony Giddens. Counterpublics have features of both front and back-regions. The public, front-region, of counterpublics is reflected in their orientation to engagement and discourse with the formal public sphere. Their back-region serves to offer a distance and relative reprieve from the direct scrutiny of the broader public (Giddens). Therefore the act of grievance airing through the medium of talk, which is often steeped in anger, can be sheltered from the distortions and injuries that characterize the formal public sphere. Anger’s most destructive tendencies, such as the tendency to escalate into rage, arise out of marginalized groups’ repeated failures to achieve 25  participatory inclusion in the formal public sphere. However, in the context of counterpublics, anger’s potentially destructive tendencies can be productively redirected to therapeutic grievance airing, identity confirming discourse, and the dialogical development of political interests. The public exchange of recognition and validation of persons’ experiences of marginalization have many accompanying benefits. Counterpublics foster exchanges of grievances over the various instances of personal injury and injustice. In doing so, they have the potential to amplify and aggregate individuals’ diffuse experiences, and redirect their anger to identity-confirming discourse. In the formal public sphere speech acts expressed in emotively thick forms are often delegitimised, as anger is argued to offend the decorum of civil discourse and distort reasoned judgment. Additionally, speech acts who’s content is deemed private and thus of no public concern are also bracketed as illegitimate, leading to the denial of participatory inclusion to formally equal citizens. Therefore in the formal public sphere speech acts are excluded as illegitimate based on both their form of expression and propositional content. These a priori exclusions relegate grievances as inappropriate, private or personal, thus denying the public nature of issues, and thwarting their political potential. Such exclusions are systematically individuating as they tend to privatize and exclude politically significant grievances and deny legitimate participation to formally equal citizens. In such contexts, anger can serve to amplify and aggregate the diffuse experiences of the marginalised, motivating persons to pursue alternative avenues for challenging the dominant terms for participatory inclusion. The energy that emanates from people’s common judgment of unjustified, injurious, and unjust exclusion, in contexts of counterpublics, has the potential to foster solidaristic bonds between individuals and groups. These bonds counteract the illegitimate privatization of politically significant issues by aggregating persons around their common condition of exclusion. Therefore, the space of counterpublics facilitates the sharing of the common experiences of frustration and anger over the systematic exclusion, in contexts  26  of mutuality and sympathy, where those marginalised have the opportunity to engage in identity confirming discourse and refinement of their political interests. This is true even of discourse that is not strictly oriented to consensus within the formal public sphere. When persons voice anger over the marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion that they suffer, it can promote the development of capacities such as self-respect, self-confidence, and selfesteem necessary for effective political action (Honneth). The building up of such capacities in individuals occurs alongside a broader shift in the disposition of marginalized subjectivities, in which previously denigrated identities are brought within the purview of individual and collective agency, and self-ascription. When feminists speak collectively of the experience of sexism, or when African Americans advocate a change in the prevailing hierarchies of aesthetic value, proclaiming that black is beautiful, they are simultaneously thematizing a particular grievance, as well as redefining their identity and political interests in solidarity with one another. Therefore anger serves a facilitating function as the affective medium for reciprocal recognition that is necessary for building bonds of solidarity, and cultivating an alternative and oppositional identity. Anger is thus positioned as the appropriate accompaniment to such critical shifts in disposition, because its propositional content is tied to the judgment of injury or injustice. Anger manifests at moments when persons recognize that the dominant disposition distorts their experience of themselves, and unjustifiably privatizes and excludes their legitimate political claims. Thus it serves as the central emotion accompanying the dialectic of reflexive problematization, which is both constitutive of the judgment of injury and injustice, and is responsible for motivating the desire for redress. However, as previously mentioned, anger is not inherently connected to any specific moral or ethical paradigm. Many scholars have convincingly argued that human societies demonstrate a cross-  27  cultural horizon of ends. However, the plurality of the empirical occasions for anger do not reveal an inherent connection to any single moral paradigm. Rather, anger’s identity is constituted by judgments, which themselves are parasitic on the norms of their lifeworld context. This means that anger’s progressiveness is not the result of some inherent normative intuition attributable to the emotion of anger. Instead, the progressive expressions of anger are properly an attribute of the norms of discourse ethics, which structure the relationship between engaged interlocutors oriented to mutual understanding.  28  8. Symphony of Anger: The Shaping of a Measured Anger Understanding the parasitic relationship between anger and the norms of lifeworld contexts, in turn makes clear the incisive insight of Aristotle's observation that “to get angry is easy. To do it to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way – that is hard” (Abizadeh). Similarly, Audrey Lorde argues that anger has the potential to materialize a progressive politics only if it is orchestrated in the right way. Lorde develops the concept of a “symphony of anger.” She argues that this is an apt metaphor because “we [the marginalized] have had to learn to orchestrate those furies so that they do not tear us apart. We have had to learn to move through them and use them for strength and force and insight within our daily lives” (16). Susan Bickford following Lorde, tersely states that “anger can indeed tear citizens apart.... The question would seem to be not how to rid politics of anger, but whether and how we can create conditions in which anger is put to the service of a just world” (17). This perspective reflects a measured approach to the role of emotions in political life, according to which the energy emanating from the judgment of injury or injustice ought to be conditioned both by discourse’s external goods and internally constitutive goods. As such, this conception of anger implies a spectrum of fit, according to which persons can shape an expression of anger that is either more or less appropriate to the demands of their circumstance. Lorde and Bickford's intuitions that anger is central to progressive political movements reflect the need for a form of life that can nurture and shape an expression of a measured anger. Individuals’ own intentional actions and the institutions framing their contexts both structure the possibility for a discourse-oriented expression of anger. Social actors are always already embedded in normative frameworks that constitute their moral dispositions. Within these normative frameworks, a form of life undergirds social interaction and delineates the scope of permissible and desirable action. This means 29  that the bounded spaces of deliberative institutions are shaped by institutionalized norms and, even more crucially, are spaces in which competing judgments and desires are subject to reflexive scrutiny and discourse. Accordingly, the significance of Aristotle's quotation, and what is central to Bickford and Lorde's concept of a symphony of anger, is that forms of life do not themselves determine subjective desires, as action are also a product of judgment and discourse. Institutions do not determine a person's subjective desires or interests, because persons always inhabit worlds rich with competing resources for meaning making. Therefore it is incumbent on the injured party to make a normative judgment that he or she should pursue a discursive mode of interaction. This means that the contexts in which persons have the necessary assurances and support to choose to address their felt injuries discursively, are those social contexts that are met halfway by democratic forms of life that foster and encourage discourse as the sole legitimate mode of conflict resolution. It should be noted however that the decision to pursue a discursive mode of interaction can never be taken for granted, even in societies where institutions of deliberative democracy have a high degree of legitimacy and public participation. Judgments of anger pose particular challenge to discursive engagement as they are expressions of eudemonistic judgment relating to a life that is one's own. As such, judgments of anger reflect a privatistic quality that can be characterized both by excess and by deficiency. An additional challenge emerges when one considers that individuals’ ethical and moral worldviews are rarely entirely internally coherent and consistent. In practice, individuals’ are recalcitrant to change their emotional dispositions, which they have spent a lifetime accruing, even if these dispositions are inconsistent with other of their beliefs (Nussbaum Upheavals). Together, these challenges could be taken to suggest that anger is inconsistent with the aims of public discourse. However, while these concerns are legitimate, they do not provide sufficient grounds for excluding anger from politics. If subjectivities, desires, and interests are not exogenously given, and if they are  30  shaped by symbolically mediated lifeworld interactions, then it is only fair to also allow anger the space to discursively negotiate the validity of its propositional content. Certainly anger always has the potential to slip into narcissistic rage and privatistic revenge. However anger occurring in a space that supports a deliberative mode of interaction, is open to the conditioning effects of discourse and the plurality of alternative perspectives. When a person chooses to expresses their anger through the medium of talk, that speaker’s assertoric proposition implicitly recognizes the competency of his or her interlocutor. The interlocutor to whom the expression of anger is directed has a choice either to accept or reject the speech act offer. Beyond this implicit presupposition, in context of democratic societies, the option to reject an offer of a speech act is underpinned by institutional norms and procedures that can redirect the disagreement either to an institution for conflict resolution, or to the space of counterpublics for further discourse. Therefore lifeworld contexts that prohibits the use of violence and coercion in the public sphere, have the potential to direct the communicative failure to deliberative space of the counterpublic. A judgment of anger is never a discrete act. It does not occur in isolation, but rather amidst a host of other evaluations of one's normative commitments. Therefore the deliberative nature of counterpublics allows persons to prioritize and negotiate among the plurality of competing normative evaluations regarding their anger. The plurality of perspectives comprising a counterpublic serve to fosters deliberative judgments on the legitimacy of another person’s felt anger, and the appropriateness of their claim to redress. Thus counterpublics serve as spaces in which monological judgments of anger are subject to discourse. Anger is not solely concerned with a judgment that an injurious act has occurred, rather it is imbricated with a whole host of normative judgments, that also aim at discovering and refining possible strategies for redress and effective political engagement. This process reflects the Aristotelian  31  modification of the theory of communicative action. For Aristotle the art of rhetoric focuses on the goal of persuasion. However, as Abizadeh qualified, the pursuit of persuasion is subordinate to the discourse ethics goal of mutual agreement and understanding. This means that discursively formulated anger cannot be reduced to merely the desire for redress of specific injurious events. The art of rhetoric for Aristotle is concerned not with persuasion per se, but with the “available means of persuasion.” However, these should not be taken as strategically oriented judgments (Abizadeh 21). Political interests are not objective, prediscursive, and exogenously given, entities of the world, and so the search for appropriate means of persuasion need not imply a reductive and cynical view of discourse as merely a strategy for achieving political interests. Action must always be justified on particular grounds. That justification can take two possible forms: it can be a product of practical consciousness comprising the background of the actor’s lifeworld; or it can be a proposition of discursive consciousness that is arrived at reflexively. The language of “available means” references an interest in the effective persuasion of another. However, the process of formulating an appropriate justification that has the capacity to persuade also resembles the search for available means of persuasion. Despite the fact that a judgment of anger already asserts that particular interests have been violated, these interests are always already subject to discursive problematization. Thus in contexts of counterpublics, the search for available means of persuasion resembles a deliberative negotiation aimed at discovering the most suitable justification for action. The Aristotelian conception of the art of rhetoric can be expanded beyond a first-person monological reflection, to also accommodate the deliberations of particular groups that occurs in the safety and mutuality of the back-region of counterpublics. Once the Aristotelian conception of the art of rhetoric is expanded in this way, the search for the available means of persuasion comes to resemble deliberation that aims to discover justifications and world-views that break from the dispositions of the dominant.  32  The deliberative processes that occur in the context of counterpublics are not determined by the institutional context. Instead, they are productively shaped by a normative framework that fosters the conditions for discourse. This means that when individuals express anger in this normatively thick institutional context, the counterpublics emerge as facilitating spaces, which cultivate a symphony of anger. This symphony of anger is conditioned by the perspective of the counterpublic’s constituents, and the political interests at which they have collectively arrived. Therefore in engaging in discourse with sympathetic interlocutors, the marginalized are able to negotiate both an appropriate account of their marginalization and a suitable means for redress. Counterpublics’ expansion of the spatial and conceptual breadth of discourse accommodates deliberations that evaluate the legitimacy of another’s anger and the appropriate and possible strategies for redress. Significantly, it also elaborates upon the multiple resources that motivate the desire to engage in discourse. This means that the motivational force of speech becomes just one among a number of forces that compel persons to engage in discourse. The expanded view of discourse in contexts of counterpublics reveals the motivational work of anger. Anger always starts with a propositional judgment that a particular event is injurious or unjust. When the subjective beliefs that make up a judgment of anger are addressed to the constituents of the formal public sphere, and then denied participatory inclusion, those marginalized persons are left with an option to retreat to the space of the counterpublic. In the relative seclusion of the counterpublic, the anger over the injurious event, along with anger regarding the secondary injury arising from the denial of participatory inclusion, are productively met by a deliberative space comprised of persons who have a shared history of exclusion. The locus of these interlocutors’ mutuality is the status exclusions each experienced in the formal public sphere. As such, organizing around their common experience of exclusion means that counterpublics reflect a greater degree of understanding and sympathy, which can  33  foster discourse on sensitive issues. Thus institutional space of counterpublics takes up discursive failures that emerge from the stratified formal public sphere and productively redirect marginalized persons’ energies toward discourse. Marginalized persons’ initial judgments of anger and anger arising from their secondary injury of being excluded from the formal public sphere, in the institutional contexts providing for spaces of resistance, serve to motivate the pursuit of redress through the medium of talk. It is the secondary injury that proves central to reorienting deliberative failure back to discourse, and that stands as the norm which underwrites the logic of counterpublics. Democratic societies are committed to the right of participatory parity for all citizens. This commitment is the immanent referent according to which the hypocrisy of the formal public sphere is held to account. The manifest anger over the denial of legitimacy and inclusion signals the efficacy of the norm of participatory parity, the violation of which motivates action towards the restitution of the regulative ideal of the public sphere as the universal space for free and open discourse. Thus the norm of discourse serves to orient the marginalized judgment of anger over the initial injurious event to the space of the public sphere. When that expectation is met instead by prejudicial status stratifications that delegitimize their grievance, the group experiences the resulting deliberative failure as a violation of the central eudaimonic commitment of the norm of democratic citizenship. Therefore the commitments of the injured party to the regulative ideals of democratic society thus stand as both the reason for the anger over the deliberative failure and the norm conditioning the available means of redress. To be sure, the quality of discourse in varies across different counterpublics. But the content of deliberations is not at issue here. Anger over felt injustice and wrongdoing does not always develop in politically progressive ways. Engaging in discourse with members of one's own counterpublic is no guarantee that violence or coercion will not emerge. However, the existence of the institutional space of  34  counterpublics in which marginalized groups can express their anger and engage in discourse does serve to curb these destructive tendencies. This is because counterpublics are organized to challenge the unjustified participatory exclusion through the medium of discourse. Significantly, the space of counterpublics are spaces in which marginalized groups can propositionally formulate their grievances. These spaces provide marginalized groups with incentives to engage in deliberative refinement of their anger. As the propositional structure of anger is always concerned with redress, the refinement of anger in an institutional framework that fosters a dialectical opposition between counterpublics and the imperfect manifestations of the existing formal public sphere, is capable of guiding the energy of anger toward advancing the regulative ideal of the public sphere. This means that counterpublics are not neutral spaces for the spontaneous expression and exchange of political views. Instead, counterpublics are locales for productive interactions that must be cultivated in particular ways in order that their progressive potential can be realized. They are spaces in which takes place the work of developing the subjective capacities necessary for the very act of resistance. They are also sites in which a measured symphony of discourse oriented anger can be refined and developed. Accordingly, the relationship between the space of counterpublics and anger’s motivating energy mitigates the perils of discourse in the formal public sphere between persons with highly divergent socioeconomic standing. This is precisely the context within which Lorde's claim that anger is a progressive mode of political engagement is redeemed.  35  9. Conclusion Anger plays a central role in human life. This paper’s discussion reflects on just one dimension in the emotion's diffuse and varied empirical life. The discussion is limited to exploring the conditions under which it makes sense to claim that anger can serve progressive ends. The paper reframes anger as a judgment and an emotive mode of claim making. In doing so, it emphasizes anger’s cognitive and evaluative dimensions, and the place of reflexive problematization in response to feelings of anger. However, there is an implicit normative dimension to Lorde’s argument that anger can be a progressive mode of political engagement. In order to address that normative dimension, it is necessary to reconstruct a set of criteria that meaningfully differentiates instances of anger that are deemed to be justified and desirable from those that are considered misplaced, unwarranted, excessive, or unjust. This present argument is that the parasitic relationship between anger and the norms of discourse ethics facilitates the expression of a progressive, discourse oriented, anger. The paper reflects on anger as a mode of claim-making, which also expands upon the motivating force of the emotion in discourse. Anger always involves a eudaimonic judgment, which means it is tied to the most fundamental aspects of the self. That is, anger is tied to the objects and persons essential to one's conception of the good life. This reflects that the human condition is one of being in the world, and is inextricable from the reality of embodied cognition within the rich context of lifeworld interaction. These commitments, in contexts of societies that value the norms of participatory parity and political autonomy, are not merely a product of socialization and power. They are commitments born of historical struggle for the progressive inclusion of an ever greater number of persons and groups within an ethical community of discourse. Political communities’ respective norms of democracy are hard fought accomplishments. These norms are justified by deliberative judgment, that in turn also justify the processes of deliberative judgment. As such, the redemptive power of discourse is to be found within the theory of 36  communicative action. Although empirical discourse is replete with power and distortions, nevertheless it is the principle medium for coordinating social interaction for the purposes of socialization and reflexive problematization. Therefore, this paper posits, that when anger is subordinated with respect to discourse’s ends, it demonstrates its place as the principle emotion motivating actions of resistance and critique.  37  Work Cited Abizadeh, Arash. "On the Philosophy/Rhetoric Binaries: Or, is Habermasian Discourse Motivationally Impotent?." Philosophy Social Criticism 33.4 (2007): 445-472. Bickford, Susan. "Anti-Anti-Identity Politics: Feminism, Democracy, and the Complexities of Citizenship." Hypatia 12.4 (1997): 111-131. Bourdieu, Pierre, and Loic J. D. Wacquant. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Braund, Susanna Morton, and Glenn W. Most. Ancient Anger: Perspectives from Homer to Galen. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Calhoun, Craig Jackson. Habermas and the Public Sphere. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1997. Cox, Robert. “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory.” Millennium 10 (1981): 126-155. Edgar, Andrew. Habermas: the Key Concepts. London: Routledge, 2006. Emirbayer, Mustafa, and Chad A. Goldberg. "Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics." Theory and Society 34.5 (2005): 469-518. Fraser, Nancy. "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy." Social Text 25.26 (1990): 56-80. Garry, Ann, and Marilyn Pearsall. Women, Knowledge, and Reality: Explorations in Feminist Philosophy. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989. Garver, Eugene. Aristotle's Rhetoric: an Art of Character. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. Giddens, Anthony. The Constitution of Society. Berkley: University of California Press, 1984. Habermas, Jürgen. “Individuation Through Socialization: On George Herbert Mead's Theory of Subjectivity." Postmetaphisical Thinking. Cambridge: The MIT Press, (1996): 149-204. ---. Moral consciousness and communicative action. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1990. ---. Justification and Application: Remarks on Discourse Ethics. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1994.  38  Jasper, James M. "The Emotion of Protest: Affective and Reactive Emotions in and around Social Movements." Sociological Forum 13.3 (1998): 397-424. Kennedy, Gwynne. Just Anger: Representing Women's Anger in Early Modern England. Carbondale Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000. Lorde, Audre. "The Use of Anger." Women's Studies Quarterly 25.2 (1997): 278-285. Mabry, Beth, and Jill Kiecolt. "Anger in Black and White: Race, Alienation, and Anger." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 46.1 (2005): 85-101. Pollock, Linda. "Anger and the Negotiation of Relationships in Early Modern England." The Historical Journal 47.3 (2004): 567-590. Reed, Jean-Pierre. "Emotions in Context: Revolutionary Accelerators, Hope, Moral Outrage, and Other Emotions in the Making of Nicaragua's Revolution." Theory and Society 33.6 (2004): 653-703. Wright, Charles. "Particularity and Perspective Taking: On Feminism and Habermas's Discourse Theory of Morality." Hypatia 19.4 (2004): 49-76.  39  


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items