Emotional Justification

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):541-566 (2019)
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Abstract

Theories of emotional justification investigate the conditions under which emotions are epistemically justified or unjustified. I make three contributions to this research program. First, I show that we can generalize some familiar epistemological concepts and distinctions to emotional experiences. Second, I use these concepts and distinctions to display the limits of the ‘simple view’ of emotional justification. On this approach, the justification of emotions stems only from the contents of the mental states they are based on, also known as their cognitive bases. The simple view faces the ‘gap problem’: If cognitive bases and emotions (re)present their objects and properties in different ways, then cognitive bases are not sufficient to justify emotions. Third, I offer a novel solution to the gap problem based on emotional dispositions. This solution (1) draws a line between the justification of basic and non-basic emotions, (2) preserves a broadly cognitivist view of emotions, (3) avoids a form of value skepticism that threatens inferentialist views of emotional justification, and (4) sheds new light on the structure of our epistemic access to evaluative properties.

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Santiago Echeverri
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Citations of this work

The fittingness of emotions.Hichem Naar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13601-13619.
Skepticism about reasons for emotions.Hichem Naar - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (1):108-123.
The reactive theory of emotions.Olivier Massin - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):785-802.
Emotion as High-level Perception.Brandon Yip - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7181-7201.

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References found in this work

Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.John Campbell - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

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