Feminist philosophers have been played an important role in the now-quite-popular rejection of the idea that emotions are only obstacles to reason and knowledge-seeking. Here’s a nice example of emotions helping someone to arrive at moral knowledge– specifically the knowledge that gay relationships and people deserve the same respect as straight ones. The Republican mayor of San Diego recently reversed his opposition to same sex marriage, citing knowledge gained from his relationship with his lesbian daughter and her partner:
He fought back tears as he said that he wanted his adult daughter, Lisa, and other gay people he knows to have their relationships protected equally under state laws. His daughter was not at the news conference.“In the end, I could not look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships – their very lives – were any less meaningful than the marriage that I share with my wife, Rana,” Sanders said.