Emotions are the focus of intense debate both in contemporary philosophy and psychology, and increasingly also in the history of ideas. Simo Knuuttila presents a comprehensive survey of philosophical theories of emotion from Plato to Renaissance times, combining rigorous philosophical analysis with careful historical reconstruction. The first part of the book covers the conceptions of Plato and Aristotle and later ancient views from Stoicism to Neoplatonism and, in addition, their reception and transformation by early Christian thinkers from Clement (...) and Origen to Augustine and Cassian. Knuuttila then proceeds to a discussion of ancient themes in medieval thought, and of new medieval conceptions, codified in the so-called faculty psychology from Avicenna to Aquinas, in thirteenth century taxonomies, and in the voluntarist approach of Duns Scotus, William Ockham, and their followers. Philosophers, classicists, historians of philosophy, historians of psychology, and anyone interested in emotion will find much to stimulate them in this fascinating book. (shrink)
Passion and Action is an exploration of the role of the passions in seventeenth-century thought. Susan James offers fresh readings of a broad range of thinkers, including such canonical figures as Hobbes, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Pascal, and Locke, and shows that a full understanding of their philosophies must take account of their interpretations of our affective life. This ground-breaking study throws new light upon the shaping of our ideas about the mind, knowledge, and action, and provides a historical context for (...) burgeoning current debates about the emotions. (shrink)
The emotions are at the centre of our lives and, for better or worse, imbue them with much of their significance. The philosophical problems stirred up by the existence of the emotions, over which many great philosophers of the past have laboured, revolve around attempts to understand what this significance amounts to. Are emotions feelings, thoughts, or experiences? If they are experiences, what are they experiences of? Are emotions rational? In what sense do emotions give (...) meaning to what surrounds us? -/- The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction introduces and explores these questions in a clear and accessible way. The authors discuss the following key topics: -/- the diversity and unity of the emotions the relations between emotion, belief and desire the nature of values the relations between emotions and perceptions emotions viewed as evaluative attitudes the link between emotions and evaluative knowledge the nature of moods, sentiments, and character traits. -/- Including chapter summaries and guides to further reading, The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal starting point for any philosopher or student studying the emotions. It will also be of interest to those in related disciplines such as psychology and the social sciences. (shrink)
This major volume of original essays maps the place of emotion in human nature, through a discussion of the relation between consciousness and body; by analysing the importance of emotion for human agency by pointing to the ways in which practical rationality may be enhanced, as well as hindered, by emotions; and by exploring questions of value in making sense of emotions at a political, ethical and personal level. Leading researchers in the field reflect on the nature of (...) human feelings, how and why we understand what other people feel, and the way in which our values become involved in specific emotional phenomena, such as guilt, fear, shame, amusement, or love. This collection addresses important questions in the philosophy of mind and comments on the implications of research in biology, cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis, and narrative theory for the philosophical understanding of emotions. (shrink)
Experimental methods and conceptual confusion : philosophy, science, and what emotions really are -- To 'make our voices resonate' or 'to be silent'? : shame as fundamental ontology -- Emotion, cognition, and world -- Shame and world.
Are emotions bodily feelings or evaluative cognitions? What is happiness, pain, or “being moved”? Are there basic emotions? In this chapter, I review extant empirical work concerning these and related questions in the philosophy of emotion. This will include both (1) studies investigating people’s emotional experiences and (2) studies investigating people’s use of emotion concepts in hypothetical cases. Overall, this review will show the potential of using empirical research methods to inform philosophical questions regarding emotion.
The Structure of Emotions argues that emotion concepts should have a much more important role in the social and behavioural sciences than they now enjoy, and shows that certain influential psychological theories of emotions overlook the explanatory power of our emotion concepts. Professor Gordon also outlines a new account of the nature of commonsense (or ‘folk’) psychology in general.
Research on the antecedents of consumers’ ethical beliefs has mainly examined cognitive variables and has neglected the relationships among affective variables and consumer ethics. However, research in moral psychology indicates that moral emotions have a significant role in ethical decision-making. Thus, the ability to experience, perceive and regulate emotions should influence consumers’ ethical decision-making. These abilities, which are components of emotional intelligence, are examined as antecedents to consumers’ ethical beliefs in this study. Five hundred Australian consumers participated in (...) this study by completing an online questionnaire that included measures of emotional intelligence, consumers’ ethical beliefs and personal moral philosophies. Results demonstrate that the ability to appraise and express emotions in oneself is directly negatively related to beliefs regarding actively benefiting from illegal actions as a consumer, passively benefiting at the expense of the seller and actively benefiting from questionable but legal actions as a consumer. The ability to appraise and express emotions in oneself is directly positively related to beliefs regarding ‘doing-good’ actions. The ability to appraise and recognise emotions in others is also directly positively related to beliefs regarding ‘doing-good’ actions as well as pro-environmental buying actions. The effects of the different components of emotional intelligence on consumers’ ethical beliefs are mediated by personal moral philosophies. This study demonstrates the relationship between emotional intelligence and consumer ethics and highlights the interplay of affect and cognition in consumers’ ethical decision-making. (shrink)
There remains a division between the work of philosophers who draw on the sciences of the mind to understand emotion and those who see the philosophy of emotion as more self-sufficient. This article examines this methodological division before reviewing some of the debates that have figured in the philosophical literature of the last decade: whether emotion is a single kind of thing, whether there are discrete categories of emotion, and whether emotion is a form of perception. These questions have (...) been addressed by both sides of the methodological divide and the integration of these two approaches would have clear benefits. (shrink)
This book broadens the inquiry into emotion to comprehend a comparative cultural outlook. It begins with an overview of recent work in the West, and then proceeds to the main business of scrutinizing various relevant issues from both Asian and comparative perspectives. Original essays by experts in the field. Finally, Robert Solomon comments and summarizes.
This Handbook presents thirty-one state-of-the-art contributions from the most notable writers on philosophy of emotion today. Anyone working on the nature of emotion, its history, or its relation to reason, self, value, or art, whether at the level of research or advanced study, will find the book an unrivalled resource and a fascinating read.
Life, on a day to day basis, is a sequence of emotional states: hope, disappointment, irritation, anger, affection, envy, pride, embarrassment, joy, sadness and many more. We know intuitively that these states express deep things about our character and our view of the world. But what are emotions and why are they so important to us? In one of the most extensive investigations of the emotions ever published, Robert Roberts develops a novel conception of what emotions are (...) and then applies it to a large range of types of emotion and related phenomena. In so doing he lays the foundations for a deeper understanding of our evaluative judgments, our actions, our personal relationships and our fundamental well-being. Aimed principally at philosophers and psychologists, this book will certainly be accessible to readers in other disciplines such as religion and anthropology. (shrink)
Philosophy, Music and Emotion explores two contentious issues in contemporary philosophy: the nature of music´s power to express emotion, and the nature of emotion itself. It shows how closely the two are related and provides a radically new account of what it means to say that music "expresses emotion." Geoffrey Madell maintains that most current accounts of musical expressiveness are fundamentally misguided. He attributes this fact to the influence of a famous argument of the nineteenth-century critic Hanslick, and (...) also to the dominant "cognitivist" approach to the nature of emotion, which sees the essence of emotion to be the entertaining of evaluative judgments and beliefs. This book argues that the cognitivist account of the nature of emotion is false and should be replaced with a conception of emotions as states of feeling. Central to this bold analysis is a new account of two closely connected mental states, desire and pleasure, and their role in human motivation. (shrink)
This chapter examines two premises of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - that emotions are caused by beliefs and that those beliefs are represented in the mind as words or images. Being a philosophical examination, the chapter also seeks to demonstrate that these two premises essentially are philosophical premises. The chapter begins with a brief methodological suggestion of how to properly evaluate the theory of CBT. From there it works it way from examining the therapeutic practice of capturing the mental representations (...) that supposedly elicit emotional reactions to examining the assumption that emotions are caused by beliefs. The chapter ends by briefly pointing to some consequences of what has been said to the practice of CBT. (shrink)
Philosophy with children often focuses on abstract reasoning skills, but as David Bohm points out the “entire process of mind” consists of our abstract thought as well as our “tacit, concrete process of thought.” Philosophy with children should address the “entire process of mind.” Our tacit, concrete process of thought refers to the process of thought that involves our actions such as the process of thought that goes into riding a bicycle. Bohm contends that we need to develop (...) an awareness or proprioception of thinking as well. When Socrates enters into dialogue with his interlocutors, he shows the limitations of purely abstract thought by leading them to admit that they really “don’t know.” But, of course, they know. We know what bravery is or what love is, even though we can never “explain” these concepts in abstract terms. Life has taught us through experience what these concepts mean and we have developed an understanding of them. We can recognize when a person acts bravely. This is where I see the link between our tacit, concrete process of thought and emotional intelligence. We need emotional intelligence to learn how to be brave, to learn how to love, and be just in the way we act in the world. Knowing what justice is abstractly does not make us act justly. We have to develop awareness of our actions in order to develop the skills necessary to act the part. This is also where emotional intelligence comes in. In the bulletin of the play Romeo and Juliet, director Barry Edelstein wrote the following: “To perform Romeo and Juliet, actors need a series of skills… they must have the emotional and psychological awareness and openness of uncommon depth; they must listen with acuteness, they must possess an imagination of real suppleness and subtlety…” An abstract portrayal would not bring these characters to life. We can surely agree – abstractly – that racism is destructive, but still act racist, without being even slightly aware of it. My contention is that while our abstract sense of racism has evolved, our tacit, concrete knowledge has not, which explains that racism is for the most part still rampant, even though we know abstractly that it is wrong. So how do we educate and develop the awareness of the tacit, concrete knowledge that informs our actions, and develop the emotional intelligence to give a depth of understanding to what we know and believe abstractly. (shrink)
How can we motivate ourselves to do what we think we ought? How can we deliberate about personal values and priorities? Bennett Helm argues that standard philosophical answers to these questions presuppose a sharp distinction between cognition and conation that undermines an adequate understanding of values and their connection to motivation and deliberation. Rejecting this distinction, Helm argues that emotions are fundamental to any account of value and motivation, and he develops a detailed alternative theory both of emotions, (...) desires and evaluative judgements and of their rational interconnections. The result is an innovative theory of practical rationality and of how we can control not only what we do but also what we value and who we are as persons. (shrink)
The aim of this chapter is to discuss the relevance that emotions can play in our epistemic life considering the state of the art of the philosophical debate on emotions. The strategy is the one of focusing on the three main models on emotions as evaluative judgements, bodily feelings, and perceptions, following the fil rouge of emotion intentionality for rising questions about their epistemic functions. From this examination, a major challenge to mainstream epistemology arises, the one that (...) asks to provide prominence to the epistemic agent and to her affects. This chapter discusses these implications, also providing an overview of the many alternatives available nowadays in epistemology, arguing for an open, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary approach to emotions in knowledge. (shrink)
Adrian Johnston and Catherine Malabou defy theoretical humanities' deeply-entrenched resistance to engagements with the life sciences. Rather than treat biology and its branches as hopelessly reductive and politically suspect, they view recent advances in neurobiology and its adjacent scientific fields as providing crucial catalysts to a radical rethinking of subjectivity. Merging three distinct disciplines--European philosophy from Descartes to the present, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and affective neuroscience-- Johnston and Malabou triangulate the emotional life of affective subjects as conceptualized in philosophy (...) and psychoanalysis with neuroscience. Their experiments yield different outcomes. Johnston finds psychoanalysis and neurobiology have the potential to enrich each other, though affective neuroscience demands a reconsideration of whether affects can be unconscious. Investigating this vexed issue has profound implications for theoretical and practical analysis, as well as philosophical understandings of the emotions. Malabou believes scientific explorations of the brain seriously problematize established notions of affective subjectivity in Continental philosophy and Freudian-Lacanian analysis. She confronts philosophy and psychoanalysis with something neither field has seriously considered: the concept of wonder and the cold, disturbing visage of those who have been affected by disease or injury, such that they are no longer affected emotionally. At stake in this exchange are some of philosophy's most important claims concerning the relationship between the subjective mind and the objective body, the structures and dynamics of the unconscious dimensions of mental life, the role emotion plays in making us human, and the functional differences between philosophy and science. (shrink)
While philosophical speculation into the nature and value of emotions is at least as old as the Pre-Socratics, William James' "What is an emotion?" reinvigorated interest in the question. Coming to grips with James' proposals, particularly in the light of subsequent concerns for the difficulties inherent in a so-called private language, led philosophers away from analyses centred on feelings to ones centred on thoughts. Analyzing the emotions in this way involves returning to a vision of the emotions (...) that traces its ancestry back to the Stoics, but has proven to be enormously insightful and influential again in modern times. The papers collected here centre on James' question and often respond explicitly to one another. Together, they provide a sense of what a cognitive view of the emotions maintains, what it denies, and how it has arisen. The connection provides wide-ranging coverage of the point of dispute amongst those impressed by the cognitive approach, and gives a good sense too of the tremendous explanatory power of this view. (shrink)
In this chapter, we start by spelling out three important features that distinguish expressives—utterances that express emotions and other affects—from descriptives, including those that describe emotions (Section 1). Drawing on recent insights from the philosophy of emotion and value (2), we show how these three features derive from the nature of affects, concentrating on emotions (3). We then spell out how theories of non-natural meaning and communication in the philosophy of language allow claims that expressives (...) inherit their meaning from specificities of emotions—namely, from being felt, evaluative attitudes toward propositional or non-propositional contents (4). (shrink)
This 1996 book is the result of a uniquely productive union of philosophy, psychoanalysis and anthropology, and explores the complexity and importance of emotions. Michael Stocker places emotions at the very centre of human identity, life and value. He lays bare how our culture's idealisation of rationality pervades the philosophical tradition and leads those who wrestle with serious ethical and philosophical problems into distortion and misunderstanding. Professor Stocker shows how important are the social and emotional contexts of (...) ethical dilemmas and inner conflicts, and he challenges philosophical theories that try to overgeneralise and over-simplify by leaving out the particulars of each situation. In offering a realistic account of emotions and an in-depth analysis of how psychological factors affect judgments of all kind, this book will interest a broad range of readers across the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
Jesse Prinz argues that recent work in philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology supports two radical hypotheses about the nature of morality: moral values are based on emotional responses, and these emotional responses are inculcated by culture, not hard-wired through natural selection. In the first half of the book, Jesse Prinz defends the hypothesis that morality has an emotional foundation. Evidence from brain imaging, social psychology, and psychopathology suggest that, when we judge something to be right or wrong, we are merely (...) expressing our emotions. Prinz argues that these emotions do not track objective features of reality; rather, the rightness and wrongness of an act consists in the fact that people are disposed to have certain emotions towards it. In the second half of the book, he turns to a defense of moral relativism. Moral facts depend on emotional responses, and emotional responses vary from culture to culture. Prinz surveys the anthropological record to establish moral variation, and he draws on cultural history to show how attitudes toward practices such as cannibalism and marriage change over time. He also criticizes evidence from animal behavior and child development that has been taken to support the claim that moral attitudes are hard-wired by natural selection. Prinz concludes that there is no single true morality, but he also argues that some moral values are better than others; moral progress is possible. Throughout the book, Prinz relates his views to contemporary and historical work in philosophical ethics. His views echo themes in the writings of David Hume and Friedrich Nietzsche, but Prinz supports, extends, and revises these classic theories using the resources of cutting-edge cognitive science. The Emotional Construction of Morals will stimulate and challenge anyone who is curious about the nature and origin of moral values. (shrink)
Philosophy, Music and Emotion explores two issues which have been intensively debated in contemporary philosophy: the nature of music's power to express emotion, and the nature of emotion itself. It shows how closely the two topics are related and provides a radically new account of what it means to say that music 'expresses emotion'. Geoffrey Madell maintains that most current accounts of musical expressiveness are fundamentally misguided. He attributes this fact to the influence of a famous argument of (...) the nineteenth-century critic Hanslick, and also to the dominant 'cognitivist' approach to the nature of emotion, which sees the essence of emotion to be the entertaining of evaluative judgements and beliefs of a certain sort, an account very much in accord with Hanslick's position. Such an approach results either in the unpersuasive view that musical expressiveness is somehow akin to human expressive gesture, or in the view that music arouses feelings which have no specific object and, unavoidably, no necessary connection with the music.The book argues that the 'cognitivist' account of the nature of emotion is quite false and that it needs to be replaced with a conception of emotions as states of feeling towards - states of intentional feeling - whose objects are often evaluatively characterised states of affairs; however, in the context of the emotions that are aroused by music these objects are always musical events or states. Central to this bold analysis of emotion is a new account of two closely connected mental states, those of desire and of pleasure, and of what role these states have in human motivation and value. (shrink)
The relationship between emotion comprehension and social competence from very young ages has been addressed in numerous studies in the field of developmental psychology. Emotion knowledge in childhood seems to have its roots in the conversations and explanations children hear about what emotions are and how to manage them. Given that behavioral interventions often do not achieve medium-term improvements or generalization to other contexts, this study evaluates the results of an intervention using the Thinking Emotions program. This program (...) uses Philosophy for Children as the work format and is based on the idea that reflection and dialogue among peers is one of the most effective ways to interiorize significant knowledge. The program was applied during one school year in two preschool classrooms . Comparisons of the pre- and post-treatment measures of the control and experimental groups show significant improvements in emotion comprehension and social competence in the 5-year-old children and improvements related to social competence in the 4-year-olds. (shrink)
Book synopsis: Passion and Action explores the place of the emotions in seventeenth-century understandings of the body and mind, and the role they were held to play in reasoning and action. Interest in the passions pervaded all areas of philosophical enquiry, and was central to the theories of many major figures, including Hobbes, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Pascal, and Locke. Yet little attention has been paid to this topic in studies of early modern thought. Susan James surveys the inheritance of (...) ancient and medieval doctrines about the passions, showing how these were incorporated into new philosophical theories in the course of the seventeenth century. She examines the relation of the emotions to will, knowledge, understanding, desire, and power, offering fresh analyses and interpretations of a broad range of texts by little-known writers as well as canonical figures, and establishing that a full understanding of these authors must take account of their discussions of our affective life. Passion and Action also addresses current debates, particularly those within feminist philosophy, about the embodied character of thinking and the relation between emotion and knowledge. This ground-breaking study throws new light upon the shaping of our ideas about the mind, and provides a historical context for burgeoning contemporary investigations of the emotions. (shrink)
Peter Goldie opens the path to a deeper understanding of our emotional lives through a lucid philosophical exploration of this surprisingly neglected topic. Drawing on philosophy, literature and science, Goldie considers the roles of culture and evolution in the development of our emotional capabilities. He examines the links between emotion, mood, and character, and places the emotions in the context of consciousness, thought, feeling, and imagination. He explains how it is that we are able to make sense of (...) our own and other people's emotions, and how we can explain the very human things which emotions lead us to do. He argues that it is only from the personal point of view that thoughts, reasons, feelings, and actions come into view. This fascinating book gives an accessible but penetrating exploration of an important but mysterious subject. Any reader interested in emotion and its role in understanding our lives will find much to think about here. (shrink)
Until recently, philosophers and psychologists conceived of emotions as brain- and body-bound affairs. But researchers have started to challenge this internalist and individualist orthodoxy. A rapidly growing body of work suggests that some emotions incorporate external resources and thus extend beyond the neurophysiological confines of organisms; some even argue that emotions can be socially extended and shared by multiple agents. Call this the extended emotions thesis. In this article, we consider different ways of understanding ExE in (...)philosophy, psychology, and the cognitive sciences. First, we outline the background of the debate and discuss different argumentative strategies for ExE. In particular, we distinguish ExE from cognate but more moderate claims about the embodied and situated nature of cognition and emotion. We then dwell upon two dimensions of ExE: emotions extended by material culture and by the social factors. We conclude by defending ExE against some objections and point to desiderata for future research. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Bence Nanay has argued against what he calls the Discontinuity Thesis: the claim that literature (along with all other nonabstract art forms) can never count as genuine philosophizing. I first claim that Nanay’s argument either proves too much or rests on heavy-duty premises that he does not adequately defend. I then present my own strategy for resisting Discontinuity, which argues that the proper response to both literature and philosophy can include emotional engagement coupled with reflection.
Richard Sorabji presents a ground-breaking study of ancient Greek views of the emotions and their influence on subsequent theories and attitudes, Pagan and Christian. While the central focus of the book is the Stoics, Sorabji draws on a vast range of texts to give a rich historical survey of how Western thinking about this central aspect of human nature developed.
Contemporary philosophers have paid increasing attention to the empirical research on emotions that has blossomed in many areas of the social sciences. In this paper, I first sketch the common roots of science and philosophy in Ancient Greek thought. I illustrate the way that specific empirical sciences can be regarded as branching out from a central trunk of philosophical speculation. On the basis of seven informal characterizations of what is distinctive about philosophical thinking, I then draw attention to (...) the fact that scientific progress frequently requires one to make adjustments to the way its basic terms are conceptualized, and thus cannot avoid philosophical thought. The character of emotions requires attention from many disciplines, and the links among those disciplines inevitably require a broader philosophical perspective to be understood. Thus, emotion science, and indeed all of science, is inextricably committed to philosophical assumptions that demand scrutiny. (shrink)
The thoroughly contemporary question of the relationship between emotion and reason was debated with such complexity by the philosophers of the 17th century that their concepts remain a source of inspiration for today’s research about the emotionality of the mind. The analyses of the works of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and many other thinkers collected in this volume offer new insights into the diversity and significance of philosophical reflections about emotions during the early modern era. A focus is placed on (...) affective components in learning processes and the boundaries between emotions and reason. (shrink)
In the article the specificity of philosophy is considered as a path to spiritual-practical mastering of the world. The spiritual-practical structure of philosophy includes philosophic practice and philosophic consciousness. The latter actualizes in the forms of philosophic thinking and sensory-emotional reflection of reality. Philosophical sensuality has a wide range of manifestations, but its specificity is defined by the emotion of wonder. Wonder is a primal, basic emotion. Fear, curiosity, joy and a number of other emotions also belong (...) to the category of basic emotions. In religious studies the ’theory of fear’ attributes the origin of religion to experience of fear. In psychology of emotion the curiosity is considered as a source of cognitive interest and scientific cognition. Appropriately, it may be possible to propose the ’theory of curiosity’ and the ’theory of wonder’ to explain the origin of science and philosophy. In the context of the theories the science and the religion differ in their emotional sources from the philosophy. The status of wonder as a basic emotion defines the emotional sovereignty of philosophy, its independence from other ways of spiritual-practical mastering of the world. Author demonstrates the incapacity of interpretations of doubt and suffering as emotional origins of philosophy. Doubt as uncertainty is a derivative of faith and lacks the status of basic emotion. The suffering is an emotional tone of every sensation, a pair of the emotional tone of pleasure. It is impossible to consider the suffering as an origin of philosophy due to both the effect of twoness of pleasure and suffering and their status of emotional tones. In addition, suffering is an affect, the repetition and accumulation of which conduces to the emotional discharge, an affective explosion. Therefore, they cannot be the sources of cognitive motion. The cognitive potential of wonder is defined by its character as positive emotion allowing for accumulation of ’wonder points’. The wonder discovers cognitive dissonance and stimulates the cognition by means of expanding the subject field of philosophy and stating new questions. (shrink)
This project aims to examine whether music has an emotional nature. I use the ancient Chinese text Music Has No Grief or Joy to construct three arguments for the illusion view, according to which music has no emotional nature and the emotional appearances of music are illusory. These arguments highlight representational inconstancy, expressive incapability, and evocative underdetermination as three ways to problematize the idea that music has an emotional nature. I draw on the Confucian tradition to formulate three responses to (...) the illusion view from representational reliability, expressive sincerity, and evocative appropriateness. These responses are shown to be inadequate. To examine the illusion view in detail, I adopt a comparative approach to structure a dialogue between ancient Eastern philosophy and contemporary Western philosophy. Nine arguments are constructed from three prominent approaches in contemporary Western musical aesthetics on the evocation, expression, and representation of emotion. I argue that each of these arguments reads emotion into music. Nevertheless, three insights emerge from the comparative discussion. The autonomy of emotional enjoyment, the possibility of emotional communication, and the function of emotional language in musical experiences call for explanations. I argue that the illusion view are amenable to these insights. The illusion view allows us to claim full ownership of emotional responses, have emotional communication by recognizing intended emotional meanings in music, and appreciate the practical value of emotional language in music industry and education. I formulate a possible objection on the basis of Charles Swann’s musical experience in Marcel Proust’s novel, according to which music has emotional agency in the formation of an emotion. This objection can be met and Swann’s musical experience can be integrated into the illusion view. The illusion view turns out to be experientially richer than it might appear at first. This project liberates musical listening and philosophical thinking from beliefs entrenched in the emotional illusion of music. (shrink)
This article focuses on the most recent debates in the vibrant and emerging subfield of philosophy of emotion research. Given the dominance of 'cognitivist' theories of emotion in the philosophy, neurobiology, and cognitive science of emotion, we have witnessed a move away from attempts to pit reason and emotion against each other. This move, however, has opened the door to a host of thorny challenges for how we think about our affective relationship with the world, with concepts, and (...) with other minds. (shrink)
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)
In his discussions of “sensibility” and “feeling,” Hegel has a compelling interpretation of the emotional foundations of experience. I begin by situating “mood” within the context of “sensibility,” and then focus on the inherently “outwardizing” or self-externalizing character of mood. I then consider the different modes of moody self-externalization, for the sake of determining why we express ourselves in language. I conclude by demonstrating why the notions of emotion and spirit are necessarily linked.
Although generally philosophers have put a high valuation on reason, increasingly the role of emotions in motivating action is being recognized. The essays in this volume explore the emotions from a variety of perspectives, ranging from Aristotelian views of the passions to the new findings of cognitive science, and from such diverse starting points as medieval literature and psychological studies.
The Emotional Construction of Morals is a book about moral judgements – the kinds of mental states we might express by sentences such as, ‘It's bad to flash your neighbors’, or ‘You ought not eat your pets’. There are three basic questions that get addressed: what are the psychological states that constitute such judgements? What kinds of properties do such judgements refer to? And, where do these judgements come from? The first question concerns moral psychology, the second metaethics and the (...) third is best construed as belonging to a domain that has been neglected in analytic value theory: the genealogy of morals. These are all separate branches of ethics, but they are interconnected. The thesis of the book is that moral judgements are emotional attitudes that refer to response-dependent properties, and that these responses have been shaped by cultural history. I call the view Constructive Sentimentalism. The first half of the book deals with sentiments, and the second half with construction. The second half also deals with relativism, because I argue that moral values are constructed differently across cultures and across individuals.Thus described, The Emotional Construction of Morals is a conventional contribution to analytic moral philosophy, taking on some of the core questions in that field and defending positions that have a long philosophical pedigree. Indeed, the theory I defend has roots in Hume and Nietzsche, though it departs from both in various ways. What makes the book somewhat unusual is that it seeks to defend traditional theories by appeal to recent work in psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and related fields. It is an exercise in methodological naturalism and committed to the view that we can answer traditional philosophical questions while treating ethics as a social science. Ethics and naturalism are hard to reconcile because ethics is a normative domain, …. (shrink)
Emotions have long been of interest to philosophers and have deep historical roots going back to the Ancients. They have also become one of the most exciting areas of current research in philosophy, the cognitive sciences, and beyond. -/- This book explains the philosophy of the emotions, structuring the investigation around seven fundamental questions: What are emotions? Are emotions natural kinds? Do animals have emotions? Are emotions epistemically valuable? Are emotions the (...) foundation for value and morality? Are emotions the basis for responsibility? Do emotions make us better people? -/- In the course of exploring these questions, the book also discusses cutting-edge empirical research on emotion, feminist approaches to emotions and their value, and methodological questions on how to theorize about the emotions. The book also contains in-depth discussions of specific emotions like compassion, disgust, anxiety, and curiosity. It also highlights emerging trends in emotion research. (shrink)
Robert Solomon’s philosophy of emotion should be understood in the light of his lifelong commitment to existentialism and his advocacy of “the passionate life” as a means of creating value. Although he developed his views in the framework of the “cognitive theory” of emotions, closer examination reveals many themes in common with a socially situated, transactionalist view of emotions.