Standing up for an affective account of emotion

Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):261-276 (2006)
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Abstract

This paper constitutes a defence of an affective account of emotion. I begin by outlining the case for thinking that emotions are just feelings. I also suggest that emotional feelings are not reducible to other kinds of feelings, but rather form a distinct class of feeling state. I then consider a number of common objections that have been raised against affective accounts of emotion, including: (1) the objection that emotion cannot always consist only of feeling because some emotions - for example, indignation and regret - necessarily have a cognitive component (say, the perception of a lost opportunity in the case of regret); (2) the objection that emotion cannot consist only of feeling because in order to explain how emotions have intentional objects we will have to recognise that emotion consists of cognition; and (3) the objection that emotion cannot consist only of feeling because emotion, but not feeling, can be variously assessed or evaluated. However, I demonstrate how an affective account of emotion might be successfully defended against all of the objections that are cited.

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Demian Whiting
University of Hull

Citations of this work

The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions.Demian Whiting - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
The Tenacity of the Intentional Prior to the Genealogy.Mark Alfano - 2010 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 40 (1):29-46.
Emotion as patheception.Raja Bahlul - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):104-122.

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