“Positive Philosophy and the Politics of Positive Affects”
by Cori Wong (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University)
Location: Lory Student Center 230
Free and open to the public
ABSTRACT: What do affective experiences, such as anger or pleasure, have to do with political projects of resisting oppression? How might the relationship between affective states and epistemological states enhance personal well-being? Positive philosophy addresses these questions by exploring connections between psyche and soma, experience and embodiment, and theory and practice. I show how systems of domination operate and maintain themselves through the psychosomatic production of negative affects and their harmful physiological effects. I argue that the unique mode of philosophical reflection in positive philosophy, which entails taking pleasure in one’s cultivated ability to think without certainty, generates positive affective experiences that can undo the negative affective effects of oppression and support radical practices of political resistance.