The issue of whether emotions are rational is at the centre of philosophical and psychological discussions. I believe that emotions are rational, but that they follow different principles to those of intellectual reasoning. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the unique logic of emotions. I begin by suggesting that we should conceive of emotions as a general mode of the mental system; other modes are the perceptual and intellectual modes. One feature distinguishing one mode from another is the (...) logical principles underlying its information processing mechanism. Before describing these principles, I clarify the notion of ‘rationality,’ arguing that in an important sense emotions can be rational. (shrink)
I begin with my account of Ben-Ze’ev’s notions of acute, extended, and enduring emotions, focusing on explicating their ontological structure and identifying their differentia. I then discuss the two models of romantic love that Ben-Ze’ev introduces—the care model and the dialogue model—highlighting his argument against the claim that “love is a property of, and in some formulations resides in, the connection between the two lovers” (Ben-Ze’ev 2019, 48). Although this claim can be understood in at least one of two ways—as (...) a claim about the essence of the genus romantic love or the essence of the overarching genus, love—I will concentrate on the implication of Ben-Ze’ev’s argument against this claim for his conception of the genus romantic love. I will argue that Ben-Ze’ev’s rejection of the claim that love can be a property of or reside in the connection between two lovers jeopardizes his book’s primary aim: to convince us of the possibility of enduring romantic love. Ben-Ze’ev should, therefore, reconsider his claim that romantic love is not a property of or resides in the connection between two lovers, and accept that it is at least possible. (shrink)
The moral status of emotions has recently become the focus of various philosophical investigations. Certain emotions that have traditionally been considered as negative, such as envy, jealousy, pleasure-in-others'-misfortune, and pride, have been defended. Some traditionally "negative" emotions have even been declared to be moral emotions. In this brief paper, I suggest two basic criteria according to which an emotion might be considered moral, and I then examine whether envy, anger, and resentment are moral emotions.
Is love best when it is fresh? For many, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The intense experiences that characterize new love are impossible to replicate, leading to wistful reflection and even a repeated pursuit of such ecstatic beginnings. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev takes these experiences seriously, but he’s also here to remind us of the benefits of profound love—an emotion that can only develop with time. In The Arc of Love, he provides an in-depth, philosophical account of the experiences that (...) arise in early, intense love—sexual passion, novelty, change—as well as the benefits of cultivating long-term, profound love—stability, development, calmness. Ben-Ze’ev analyzes the core of emotions many experience in early love and the challenges they encounter, and he offers pointers for weathering these challenges. Deploying the rigorous analysis of a philosopher, but writing clearly and in an often humorous style with an eye to lived experience, he takes on topics like compromise, commitment, polyamory, choosing a partner, online dating, and when to say “I love you.” Ultimately, Ben-Ze’ev assures us, while love is indeed best when fresh, if we tend to it carefully, it can become more delicious and nourishing even as time marches on. (shrink)
This article provides a conceptual map of the affective terrain while focusing on enduring positive affective attitudes, such as love and happiness. The first section of the article examines the basic characteristics of affective attitudes, i.e., intentionality, feeling, and dispositionality, and classifies the various affective attitudes accordingly. An important distinction in this regard is between acute, extended, and enduring affective attitudes. Then a discussion on the temporality of affective attitudes is presented. The second section discusses major mechanisms that enable long-lasting (...) affective attitudes to endure. These mechanisms include, Hedonic adaptation, which reduces affective intensity, thereby enabling adaptation to a stable, average level of affective intensity; Positive mood offset, which maintains a moderate level of positive mood in the absence of adverse stimuli; The enduring mood of being dissatisfied, thereby keeping the agent’s interest high, and Meaningful development, which underlies the continuation and enhancement of the affective attitude. Each of these mechanisms sustains, in its own unique way, the balance required for enduring affective attitudes. The third section applies the above considerations to two major enduring positive affective attitudes: the mood of lasting happiness and the enduring emotion of profound romantic love. Time is typically a necessary condition for the creation and enhancement of such love. However, it is not a sufficient condition. So only in some cases, but not in all, does loving longer mean loving more. (shrink)
When it comes to eggs, two aspects are central—taste and nutritional value. And it is when eggs are fresh that these are at their peak. Hate “tastes” worst, that is, its negative intensity is highest, when it is fresh. Yet, when hate is not merely a temporary eruption but a constant feature, it distorts the agent’s behavior and attitudes. As such, its moral value worsens with maturity.
Envy involves the wish to have something that someone else has; jealousy involves the wish not to lose something that the subject has and someone else does not. Envy and jealousy would seem to involve a similar emotional attitude. Both are concerned with a change in what one has: either a wish to obtain or a fear of losing. This is not a negligible distinction, however. The wish not to lose something is notably different from the wish to obtain something (...) and this difference has significant implications. (shrink)
Many testimonies, as well as fictional works, describe situations in which people find themselves hating the person that they love. This might initially appear to be contradiction, as how can one love and hate the same person at the same time? A discussion of this problem requires making a distinction between logical consistency and psychologically compatibility. Hating the one you love may be a consistent experience, but it raises difficulties concerning its psychological compatibility.
The search for the essence of emotions is a common feature of various views of emotions—many of which attempt to reduce emotions to one central component. Three major views that seek to define emotions via a basic component are: that emotions are essentially a cognitive-evaluative state; that emotions are feelings; that emotions are desires. I believe that all these reductions are inadequate. I focus here on as expressed in Nussbaum’s recent view of emotions. I begin, however, by briefly discussing and.
The relationship between emotions and argumentation is not always clear. I attempt to clarify this issue by referring to three basic questions: (1) Do emotions constitute a certain kind of argumentation?; (2) Do emotions constitute rational argumentation?; (3) Do emotions constitute efficient argumentation? I will claim that there are many circumstances in which the answer to these questions is positive. After describing such circumstances, the educational implications of the connection between emotions and argumentation will be indicated.
This article highlights a somewhat neglected aspect of love : their complexity. We suggest distinguishing between three major related types of emotional complexity: emotional diversity, emotional ambivalence, and emotional behavior. The notion of emotional complexity has far-reaching implications for understanding emotions and our wellbeing. This is illustrated by examining the notion of emotional complexity in two common yet complex phenomena in the romantic realm: romantic compromises and polyamory.
Today appraisal theories are the foremost approach to emotions in philosophy and psychology. The general assumption underlying these theories is that evaluations (appraisals) are the most crucial factor in emotions. This assumption may imply that: (a) evaluative pattems distinguish one emotion from another; (b) evaluative pattems distinguish emotions from nonemotions; (e) emotional evaluations of the eliciting event determine emotional intensity. These claims are not necessarily related. Accepting one of them does not necessarily imply acceptance of the others. I believe that (...) whereas (b) is false, (a) and (c) are basically true. (shrink)
Rolls's book, The brain and emotion is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of the brain mechanisms that underlie emotional processes. Its explanatory value is less obvious when it comes to psychological and philosophical issues concerning the nature of emotions.
Byrne & Hilbert defend color realism, which assumes that: (a) colors are properties of objects; (b) these objects are physical; hence, (c) colors are physical properties. I accept (a), agree that in a certain sense (b) can be defended, but reject (c). Colors are properties of perceptual objects – which also have underlying physical properties – but they are not physical properties.
Computers have changed not just the way we work but the way we love. Falling in and out of love, flirting, cheating, even having sex online have all become part of the modern way of living and loving. Yet we know very little about these new types of relationship. How is an online affair where the two people involved may never see or meet each other different from an affair in the real world? Is online sex still cheating on your (...) partner? Why do people tell complete strangers their most intimate secrets? What are the rules of engagement? Will online affairs change the monogamous nature of romantic relationships? These are just some of the questions Professor Aaron Ben Ze'ev, distinguished writer and academic, addresses in this book, a full-length study of love online. Accessible, shocking, entertaining, enlightening, this book will change the way you look at cyberspace and love forever. (shrink)
This excellent book offers a clearly articulated and convincing perspective on basic disputes in the philosophy of emotions. Although it deals with complex issues, it presents them in an engaging manner. This commentary focuses on two major issues: emotional components and theories; and the role of emotions in morality. I will not discuss the many issues concerning Brady’s view which I fully embrace, but rather focus on two major issues: emotional components and theories; and the role of emotions in morality. (...) I argue that Brady’s classification of emotional components and emotional theories are problematic. I also basically agree with Brady’s view on the role of emotions in morality; but, following Spinoza, I further develop this view. (shrink)
Emotions are fascinating phenomena which occupy a pivotal position in our lives. I have presented elsewhere (Ben-Ze'ev, 2000) a comprehensive framework for understanding emotions in our everyday life. The paper briefly describes the characterization of typical emotions, while indicating their relevance to online personal relationships. It discusses issues such as emotional complexity; the typical emotional cause, concern, and object; emotions and intelligence; and managing the emotions. The paper then goes on to examine whether the emotions elicited in online relationships are (...) similar to those in face-to-face relationships or whether we are witnessing the emergence of new types of emotions. (shrink)
This paper critically examines Ortony, Clore & Collins's book The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. The book is found to present a very valuable, comprehensive and systematic account of emotions. Despite its obvious value the book has various flaws; these are discussed and an alternative is suggested.
Emotions punctuate almost all significant events in our lives, but their nature, causes, and consequences are among the least well understood aspects of human experience. It is easier to express emotions than to describe them and even harder to analyse and explain them. Despite their apparent familiarity, emotions are an extremely subtle and complex topic. Unfortunately, the topic was neglected by philosophers and scientists in the past. In recent decades, however, interest in the emotions has grown considerably among scholars and (...) students from many disciplines, as well as among the public at large. If there is to be any progress in this theoretically and practically important field, not only is a broad philosophical examination of basic concepts and issues essential, but also an interdisciplinary approach that combines philosophical analysis with other types of scientific research. The clarification of basic emotional concepts as well as the unification of linguistic usages across disciplines and natural languages are necessary for integrating the growing body of interdisciplinary emotional research. The contemporary philosophy of emotions is equipped for this integrative task. It can provide us with a better and more comprehensive picture of the nature of emotions. (shrink)