Fitting anxiety and prudent anxiety

Synthese 199 (3-4):8555-8578 (2021)
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Most agree that, in some special scenarios, prudence can speak against feeling a fitting emotion. Some go further, arguing that the tension between fittingness and prudence afflicts some emotions in a fairly general way. This paper goes even further: it argues that, when it comes to anxiety, the tension between fittingness and prudence is nearly inescapable. On any plausible theory, an enormous array of possible outcomes are both bad and epistemically uncertain in the right way to ground fitting anxiety. What’s more, the fittingness of an emotion is a demanding, not a permissive, normative status. So the norms of fitting emotion demand a great deal of anxiety. For almost any realistic agent, it would be deeply imprudent to feel anxiety in a way that meets the demands set by norms of fitting emotion.

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James Fritz
Virginia Commonwealth University

Citations of this work

Why fittingness is only sometimes demand-like.James Fritz - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2597-2616.
Emotion.Charlie Kurth - 2022 - New York, NY: Routledge.
Hope, Worry, and Suspension of Judgment.James Fritz - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (8):573-587.
Unfitting Absent Emotion.James Fritz - 2023 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 18. Oxford University Press. pp. 73-96.

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References found in this work

Emotions, Value, and Agency.Christine Tappolet - 2016 - Oxford: Oxford University Press UK.
The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief.Martin Smith - 2016 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

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