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The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction

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The emotions occupy a central place in human life. At the same time, they present deep philosophical problems that have preoccupied philosophers such as Aristotle, David Hume and William James. Are emotions feelings, thoughts, or experiences? If they are experiences, what are they experiences of? Are emotions rational? Is there a science of the emotions? The Emotions: A Philosophical Introductionintroduces and explores these questions and more in a clear and accessible way. The authors discuss the following key topics: The diversity and unity of the emotions Emotion, belief and desire Emotions as value judgments Perceptual theories of the emotions The attitudinal theory of the emotions Emotions and their justification The nature and role of affective explanations. Including chapter summaries and guides to further reading, The Emotions: A Philosophical Introductionis 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 political theory.

Author Biography

Julien A. Deonna is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and at the Swiss Centre tor Research in the Affective Sciences, his works on theories of emotions and moral psychology. Ho is co-author of In Defense of Shame (2011). Fabrice Teroni is postdoctoral Assistant at the Philosophy Department at Bern University, Switzerland, and Senior Researcher at the Swiss Centre for Research in the Affective Sciences. He works on theories of emotions and memory. He is co-author of In Defense of Shame (2011).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. viii
Prefacep. x
Homing in on the emotionsp. 1
Phenomenologyp. 1
Intentionalityp. 3
Epistemologyp. 6
Emotions within the affective domainp. 7
Conclusionp. 11
Questions and further readingsp. 12
The diversity and unity of emotionsp. 14
Positive and negative emotionsp. 14
Conscious and unconscious emotionsp. 16
Other distinctionsp. 18
Basic emotionsp. 18
Emotions: unity or diversity?p. 20
Unity regainedp. 24
Conclusionp. 26
Questions and further readingsp. 27
Emotions, beliefs, and desiresp. 28
Emotions and beliefsp. 28
The mixed theoryp. 29
The desire satisfaction/frustration approachp. 33
Conclusionp. 38
Questions and further readingsp. 39
Introducing valuesp. 40
Emotions and valuesp. 40
Subjectivism about valuesp. 42
Fitting attitude analysesp. 44
Forms of value realismp. 49
Conclusionp. 50
Questions and further readingsp. 50
Emotions as value judgmentsp. 52
The evaluative judgment theoryp. 52
The add-on strategyp. 56
Emotions as constructionsp. 58
Conclusionp. 61
Questions and further readingsp. 61
Perceptual theories of the emotionsp. 63
James's theoryp. 63
Emotions as direct perceptions of valuesp. 66
Emotions as indirect perceptions of valuesp. 71
Conclusionp. 74
Questions and further readingsp. 75
The attitudinal theory of emotionsp. 76
Attitudes and contentsp. 76
Emotions as felt bodily attitudesp. 78
Virtues of the theoryp. 82
Intentionality and phenomenologyp. 85
Conclusionp. 89
Questions and further readingsp. 89
Emotions and their justificationp. 91
Why-questions: perceptions vs. emotionsp. 92
Value judgments and value intuitionsp. 93
Back to why-questionsp. 95
Justified emotionsp. 96
Bridging the gapsp. 98
Conclusionp. 101
Questions and further readingsp. 102
The nature and role of affective explanationsp. 104
Moods and temperamentsp. 105
Character traits and sentimentsp. 106
Desiresp. 110
Limits on the negative epistemological role of motivational statesp. 112
A positive epistemological role for motivational states?p. 113
Conclusionp. 115
Questions and further readingsp. 116
The importance of emotionsp. 118
From justified emotions to justified evaluative judgmentsp. 118
Emotions and emotional sensitivityp. 121
Emotions and understandingp. 122
Conclusionp. 124
Questions and further readingsp. 124
Bibliographyp. 126
Indexp. 134
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