Philosophers working on the emotions are interested in answering the
following kinds of questions:
What are emotions? Are they thoughts, feelings, perceptual or quasi-perceptual
states, or something else? Or perhaps they are combination of all these things?
Do emotions form a natural class? Are emotions natural kinds? Are emotions in
some sense ‘socially constructed’?
What emotions are there? Is love an emotion? How about Schadenfreude? Are
moods emotions? What about so-called moral or aesthetic or religious emotions?
Are these emotions proper? Again, how are different emotions to be
characterized? What distinguishes them from one another?
What is the relationship between emotion and reason? Can emotions be
evaluated for their rationality? Or are emotions non-rational mental states? Do we need emotions in order to be ‘rational’?
Closely related to the last few questions, what is the nature of
the relationship between emotion and morality? Are emotions needed to have
insight into the evaluate realm? Can a person who lacks certain emotional
capacities be a moral agent? How might emotion be important for understanding
character, vice and virtue? How might emotion be a hindrance to morality?
Each of the emotion subcategories contains details of work on the emotions that
is devoted to answering and shedding light on the above sorts of questions,
along with many others.