Anna Bortolan
Swansea University
The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between affectivity and moral experience from a phenomenological perspective. I will start by showing how in a phenomenologically oriented account emotions can be conceived as intentional evaluative feelings which play a role in both moral epistemology and the motivation of moral behaviour. I will then move to discuss a particular kind of affect, "existential feelings" (Ratcliffe in Journal of Consciousness Studies 12(8–10), 43–60, 2005, 2008), which has not been considered so far in the discourse on moral and affective experience. Relying on the notion of pre-intentionality through which Ratcliffe characterizes existential feelings (Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53(6), 602–626, 2010) and on some insights into the relationship between affectivity and ethics developed by De Monticelli (2003, 2006), I suggest that key to the role played by existential feelings in moral experience is that they determine the kinds of evaluations that it is possible for us to make and the range of our possibilities of action. I then illustrate and further develop this idea through a phenomenological analysis of some forms of psychopathological experience. More specifically, by considering some experiential features of depression and borderline personality disorder, I claim that, by acquiring an existential character, emotions such as guilt, feelings of isolation, anger and shame can radically alter the structure of the individual evaluative perspective, having a deep impact on both moral judgements and behaviours.
Keywords Emotions  Existential feelings  Moral experience  Depression  Borderline personality disorder
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-016-9468-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Emotions.Nico H. Frijda - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
Emotions: An Essay In Aid of Moral Psychology.Monique F. Jonas - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):551-553.

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Citations of this work BETA

Affectivity and Narrativity in Depression: A Phenomenological Study.Anna Bortolan - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (1):77-88.
A Critical Examination of Existential Feeling.Jussi Saarinen - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (2):363-374.

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