In contemporary virtue epistemology, responsibilist intellectual virtues in the tradition of Aristotle's moral theory are acquired character traits involving a motivational component and a success component. The motivational component is an emotion that regulates inquiry but which would ordinarily, and problematically, carry bias. In order to monitor the patterns of fallibility in emotions, reflection can correct beyond perceptual errors or logical fallacies. Emotions which survive reflection are less partial and hold more epistemic valance than egotistical emotions. Since the framework of virtue epistemology might be at a loss for monitoring emotions reflectively, given the fact emotions operate rapidly and tend to bypass cognitive functions, a theory of non-cognitive, egoless emotions, such as the Sanskrit aesthetic theory of rasa is a useful paradigm for epistemic value. Aestheticized emotions (rasa-s) have a place in emotion-evaluation. In particular, Abhinavagupta's realistic analysis of the aestheticized emotion of pathos (karuṇarasa) in the Abhinavabhāratī, shows that, “aestheticized tragedy,” unlike ordinary compassion or pity, is an immersive but moving higher-order affective response that involves evaluating the transitions from one unreflective emotion to the next. The cognitive fallout for related virtues, such as compassion, is that karuṇa affords insight into the process of transformation. Subsequently, it is possible to articulate a new kind of intellectual virtue, one that regulates observation, anticipates attunement with sentient beings, and adds insight to the evaluative structure of pathos.
"Aestheticized Tragedy (Karuṇarasa) as an Intellectual Virtue,"
Comparative Philosophy: Vol. 13:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/comparativephilosophy/vol13/iss1/7