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From: Cheshire Calhoun & Robert C. Solomon: What is an Emotion? Classical Readings in Philosophical Psychology.

New York/Oxford: Oxford Uniersit! "ress# $%&'. ((. )*'+

Cheshire Calhoun and Robert C. Solomon
One hundred !ears a.o# the /meri-an (hiloso(her and (s!-holo.ist 0illiam 1ames asked that
2uestion in the title of an essa! in the 3ritish 4ournal Mind 3oth (hiloso(hers and (s!-holo.ists hae
been debatin.# refutin.# and reisin. his answer eer sin-e.
5he 2uestion was not ori.inal with 1ames# of -ourse. 5went!*fie hundred !ears a.o# "lato and
/ristotle debated the nature of emotions# and /ristotle# in his Rhetoric, deelo(ed a strikin.l! modern
theor! of emotion that stands u( to the most -ontem(orar! -riti-ism and (roides an im(ortant
alternatie to the still dominant 1amesian theor!.
5he 1amesian theor!# sim(l! stated# is that an emotion is a (h!siolo.i-al rea-tion# essentiall!# its
familar 6si-7 sensor! a--om(animent * a 8feelin..8 5he /ristotelean iew# b! wa! of -ontrast# inoles
a -on-e(tion of emotion as a more or less intelli.ent wa! of -on-eiin. of a -ertain situation#
dominated b! a desire 9for exam(le# in an.er# the desire for reen.e:. 3etween these two theories# so
far a(art in both time and tem(erament# mu-h of the modern debate -ontinues. On the one side#
there is the obious inolement of (h!siolo.i-al rea-tions and sensations in the ex(erien-e of an
emotion. On the other side# there is the fa-t that our emotions are often intelli.ent# indeed# sometimes
more a((ro(riate and insi.htful than the -alm deliberations we -all 8reason.8 ,n the so*-alled 8heat of
the moment8 9althou.h not all emotions .enerate 8heat#8 as we shall see:# the intelli.en-e of our
emotions ma! not be so obious as their brute (h!si-alit!. Neertheless# these two sets of
-onsiderations# the (h!si-al and the -on-e(tual# are both essential to an! ade2uate answer to the
2uestion 80hat is an emotion;8
/--ordin.l!# man! of the more modern theories inole what some hae -alled a 8two -om(onents8
iew of emotion# one (h!siolo.i-al# the other 8-o.nitie8 9that is# inolin. -on-e(ts and beliefs:. ,n
(s!-holo.!# Columbia Uniersit! (s!-holo.ists Stanle! S-ha-hter and 1erome <. Sin.er hae stated
this neo*1amesian 8two -om(onents8 iew rather bluntl!: an emotion is a (h!siolo.i-al rea-tion# as
1ames insisted# but it is also the -o.nitie a-tiit! of 8labelin.#8 that is# identif!in. the emotion as an
emotion *of a -ertain sort# whi-h inoles 8a((ro(riate8 knowled.e of -ir-umstan-es.
,n (hiloso(h!# (redi-tabl!# mu-h more attention*has been (aid to the 8-o.nitie8 side of the anal!sis:
0hat is the -onne-tion between an emotion and -ertain beliefs; ,f a (erson is embarrassed# he or
she must beliee that the situation is awkward# for exam(le= if a (erson is in loe# he or she must
beliee that the loed one has at least some irtues or attra-tions. 3ut is the emotion 4ust the set of
beliefs; Or (erha(s it is the set of beliefs (lus some identifiable (h!siolo.i-al rea-tion; Re-ent work
in (hiloso(h! has -on-entrated on the role of belief in emotion and the (re-ise -onne-tion between a
belief or beliefs and the emotion. For exam(le# it has been su..ested that -ertain beliefs are
ante-edent -onditions for (arti-ular emotions= it has also been su..ested that beliefs are a lo.i-all!
essential -om(onent of emotion# that -ertain beliefs are identi-al to emotion and that emotions sim(l!
tend to -ause -ertain kinds of beliefs 9for instan-e# 4ealous! -auses a (erson to be sus(i-ious or loe
-auses a (erson to think the best of the (erson loed:. >eterminin. the (re-ise -onne-tion between
emotion and belief has be-ome one of the fo-al (oints of -urrent -ontroersies.
/lthou.h we often s(eak of emotions as bein. 8inside8 us# it is -lear that the anal!sis of emotion
-annot be limited to the 8inner8 as(e-ts of (h!siolo.! and (s!-holo.!# to is-eral disturban-es#
sensations# desires# and beliefs. <motions almost alwa!s hae an 8outward8 as(e-t as well# most
obiousl!# their 8ex(ression8 in behaior. ?ow im(ortant is behaior in this anal!sis; Obiousl!# we
t!(i-all! identif! other (eo(les@ emotions b! wat-hin. what the! do# but is this (art of the emotion
itself or onl! a s!m(tom of it; Aan! (hiloso(hers and (s!-holo.ists hae -ome to identif!# een to
define# emotions as distin-tie (atterns of behaior. 0hat (art do the -ir-umstan-es (la! in the
emotion# a(art from 9sometimes: -ausin. it; >oes the -ulture hae an! (art in the anal!sis; Could
one fall in loe# for instan-e# if one had been raised in a -ulture where romanti- loe was irtuall!
unheard of; 98?ow man! (eo(le#8 wrote the Fren-h a(horist Ba Ro-hefou-auld# 8would neer hae
loed if the! had not heard the word;8:
,n this book# we hae tried to in-lude a re(resentatie sam(le of the -lassi- and -ontem(orar!
answers to these 2uestions. 5he sele-tions ran.e from /ristotle to the (resent# and re(resent authors
from arious dis-i(lines as well as arious (hiloso(hi-al orientations. ,n this introdu-tion# we (roide
the reader with an outline of the arious a((roa-hes to the (hiloso(h! of emotions and a taste of the
arious 2uestions that hae -ome to define the literature on the sub4e-t. 5he leadin. theories of
emotion are dis-ussed first= then the (roblems en-ountered in the anal!sis of emotions are
5he to(i- of emotion is not the (riile.ed (roin-e of an! one dis-i(line# but the task of adan-in. a
-learl! defined theor! of emotion has traditionall! fallen on (hiloso(hers and (s!-holo.ists. /ristotle
and the Stoi-s (rodu-ed two of the earliest a--ounts of emotion# and subse2uentl!# other
(hiloso(hers and (s!-holo.ists (rodu-ed man! others. 3ut in s(ite of its lon. histor!# emotion was
not re.arded as a si.nifi-ant (hiloso(hi-al sub4e-t in its own ri.ht. 5heories of emotion were
adan-ed within the -ontext of broader issues# su-h as the anal!sis and -lassifi-ation of mental
(henomena in .eneral and the ori.in of moral knowled.e 9we will see this es(e-iall! in dis-ussin.
ealuatie theories of emotion:. 3ut within the (ast de-ade or two# the intelle-tual -limate has altered
radi-all!. <motion# as an inde(endent field of stud!# is attra-tin. substantial and in-reasin.
(hiloso(hi-al interest. 5his fo-us on emotion ma! mirror the .eneral introersion 9some would sa!
8nar-issism8: of re-ent !ears# whi-h has been most a((arent at the (o(ular leel. 3ut it also shows
that there is a need for a -om(rehensie a--ount of emotion to re(la-e the (ie-emeal a--ounts that
hae ineitabl! resulted from emotion@s bein. .ien a ba-kseat to other (hiloso(hi-al and
(s!-holo.i-al issues.
,n a((roa-hin. emotion theor!# we mi.ht be.in b! sure!in. those (roblem areas that hae bothered
both (hiloso(hers and (s!-holo.ists. One of the most basi- (roblems has to do with distin.uishin.
between emotions and other mental (henomena. ?ow# for instan-e# do emotions differ from sensor!
(er-e(tions# from (urel! (h!si-al states of a.itation or ex-itement# and from the more 8-o.nitie8
a-tiities of 4ud.in. and beliein.; Or do the!; RenC >es-artes and >aid ?ume draw an analo.!
between emotions and sensor! (er-e(tions# stressin. the (assiit! of both (henomena and their
differen-e from su-h mental a-ts as willin. and 4ud.in.. Fran-is ?ut-heson and 0illiam 1ames .o
een farther# ar.uin.# in different wa!s# that emotions are a s(e-ial kind of (er-e(tion. /lthou.h the
notion that emotions are both (assie and irrational 9meanin. non-o.nitie as well as unreasonable:
has lon. held swa!# some -ontem(orar! (hiloso(hers# su-h as <rrol 3edford and 4ean*"aul Sartre#
hae -hallen.ed this idea b! ar.uin. that emotions resemble 4ud.ments 9es(e-iall! alue 4ud.ments:
or een that emotions are a sort of 4ud.ment or belief. Others# like FranD 3rentano# insist that
emotions are distin-t mental (henomena that -annot be ex(lained b! analo.! with or as -onstituted
out of other sorts of mental (henomena.
Se-ond to the -lassifi-ation of emotions amon. mental (henomena stands the task of -lassif!in.
(arti-ular emotions into .eneri- t!(es. One wa! of doin. this would be to .rou( to.ether emotions
that bear a famil! resemblan-e to ea-h other*s!m(ath!# (it!# and -om(assion# for exam(le# as
-om(ared to an.er# resentment# and indi.nation. ,n a more .eneral wa!# one mi.ht distin.uish the
so-alled 8ob4e-tless8 moods# for exam(le# eu(horia and anxiet!# from su-h feelin.s as 4ealous! and
en!# whi-h alwa!s hae an ob4e-t. /n! -lassifi-ation de(ends# in lar.e measure# on how an emotion
is anal!Ded. /nal!ses that em(hasiDe the 8feel8 of an emotion usuall! also -lassif! emotions into
those# like aestheti- deli.ht and en4o!ment# that are t!(i-all! 8mild8 or 8-alm8 and those# like ra.e# that
are essentiall! 8iolent8 or turbulent. 9?ume makes this distin-tion between 8-alm8 and 8iolent8
emotions.: /nal!ses that em(hasiDe the ealuatie nature of emotions t!(i-all! distin.uish between
ealuatie emotions and mere (assionate emotional rea-tions. 95his distin-tion is -hara-teristi- of
most ealuatie theories# in-ludin. 3rentano@s and S-heler@s.:
/ third (roblem area*the (h!siolo.i-al basis of emotion*has been and -ontinues to be -ontroersial.
"h!siolo.i-al -han.es# for exam(le# bein. under the influen-e of dru.s or bein. (h!si-all!
exhausted# ma! alter our emotions= and some emotions are t!(i-all! a--om(anied b! (h!siolo.i-al
-han.es 9think# for exam(le# of the flush of embarrassment:. /s we shall see# a si.nifi-ant .rou( of
emotion theories make (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es or the (er-e(tion of these disturban-es -entral to
an a--ount of what an emotion is or at least to an a--ount of a (arti-ular kind of emotion 9see
es(e-iall! >es-artes@s# 1ames@s# and >arwin@s theories:. 3ut toda!# man! (hiloso(hers and
(s!-holo.ists den! that these disturban-es are an im(ortant or een a ne-essar! -om(onent of
emotion. 9See# for exam(le# the sele-tion from R!le.:
/lthou.h not inte.ral to a theor! of emotion 9in the wa! the other three issues are:# the -on-ern about
the role emotions (la! or should (la! in our moral and (ra-ti-al lies has often led to interest in
theories of emotion. Central to /ristotle@s -on-e(t of moral irtue# for instan-e# is the notion that our
emotions should be a((ro(riate to the situation*felt toward the ri.ht indiidual# under the ri.ht
-ir-umstan-es# and in the ri.ht amount# bein. neither too iolent nor too -alm. /mon. seenteenth*
and ei.hteenth*-entur! moral (hiloso(hers# beneolen-e# s!m(ath!# and res(e-t fi.ure as im(ortant
moties for moral a-tion. ,ndeed# ?ut-heson# ?ume# and Eant all deelo(ed theories of emotion
lar.el! in res(onse to 2uestions about moral motiation and knowled.e. /nd# as we shall see in
dis-ussin. the ealuatie theories of emotion# man! (hiloso(hers hae ar.ued that emotions (la! a
-riti-al role in our awareness and knowled.e of moral and aestheti- and other alues.
,n emotion theor!# the basi- issue is the anal!sis of emotion into its -om(onents or as(e-ts. Fien the
lon. histor! and interdis-i(linar! sour-es of thou.ht about emotion# it would be sur(risin. indeed if
theories of emotion -ould be tidil! -lassified. Neertheless# to or.aniDe our own thou.hts on what an
emotion is# we mi.ht indul.e in a bit of oersim(lifi-ation# b! sure!in. the .eneral t!(es of anal!ses#
kee(in. in mind that this -onstitutes an oeriew of the (rimar! em(hases of different theories of
emotion. 0ith this (re-autionar! note# let us look at fie im(ortant a((roa-hes to the anal!sis of
emotion# whi-h we mi.ht -all the sensation# (h!siolo.i-al# behaioral# ealuatie# and -o.nitie. <a-h
em(hasiDes a different -om(onent of emotion. Sensation theories 9?ume: and (h!siolo.i-al theories
9>es-artes# 1ames: both stress the a-tual 8feel8 of an emotion# althou.h the! disa.ree oer whether it
is (rimaril! a (s!-holo.i-al feelin. 9e...# of bein. oerwhelmed: or a feelin. of a-tual (h!siolo.i-al
-han.es 9e...# the feelin. of one@s stoma-h -hurnin.# in dis.ust:. Causal ex(lanations of emotions
fi.ure (rominentl! in the anal!sis in both theories. ,n behaioral theories# as the name su..ests#
s(e-ial attention is (aid to the distin-tie behaiors asso-iated with different emotions. <motions are
anal!Ded either as the -ause of su-h behaiors 9>arwin: or as a-tuall! -onsistin. solel! or (rimaril! of
(atterns of behaior 9>ewe!# R!le:. <aluatie theories 93rentano# S-heler: -om(are (ro* and -on*
emotional attitudes 9likin.# dislikin.# loin.# hatin.# et-.: and (ositie and ne.atie alue 4ud.ments. ,n
this sort of anal!sis# the 8ob4e-t8 of the emotion is im(ortant. Finall!# -o.nitie theories# whi-h -oer a
wide s(e-trum of (arti-ular theories# fo-us on the -onne-tion between emotions and our beliefs about
the world# ourseles# and others. For instan-e# emotions seem to de(end on -ertain beliefs 9en!
de(ends on the belief that someone else has a better lot than we do# for exam(le: and ma! alter our
(er-e(tion of and beliefs about the world.
2.1 Sensation and Physiological Theories
/mon. theories of emotion# the ones that a.ree with (o(ular -on-e(tions of emotion# as well as
-ertain obious features of at least some emotions# are those that fall under the head of sensation
and (h!siolo.i-al. "rior to an! theoreti-al refle-tion on emotion# it ma! seem obious that emotions
are somethin. we feel inside us 9the (an.s of remorse# the thrills of loe# the -old sinkin. of fear:#
whi-h subse2uentl! find ex(ression in a-tion. ,t ma! also seem obious that emotions oer-ome us.
5he! are uninited# troublesome intruders# distra-tin. us from -arr!in. out our best intentions#
thwartin. an 8ob4e-tie8 iew of thin.s# and -om(ellin. us to behae in re.rettable# or at least
irrational# wa!s. 5o a lar.e extent# sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories of emotion des-ribe this
familiar feelin..
3oth sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories be.in from the obseration that mental and (h!si-al
a.itation# ex-itement# and arousal fre2uentl!# if not alwa!s# a--om(an! emotional ex(erien-es. 5hus#
emotion is -onsidered (rimaril! or ex-lusiel! a 8feelin.8* a dis-ernible and sometimes iolent
sensation*whi-h o--urs to us# lastin. oer a determinate time (eriod# and whi-h ma! hae a definite
lo-ation in the bod! 9the 2ueas! stoma-h of dis.ust# the (oundin. heart of fear# et-.:. 3ein.
essentiall! sim(le 8feels8 or sensations# emotions offer little substan-e for anal!sis. 5he theorist of
emotion must -ontent himself with detailin. the -ausal ori.ins of different emotions and with the
effe-ts of emotions on our behaior and -o.nition.
?oweer mu-h sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories ma! share -ertain themes# the! differ on one
-entral (oint. Sensation theorists are onl! interested in the (s!-holo.! of emotion*with how (eo(le
eperience their emotions. 3! -ontrast# (h!siolo.i-al theorists# thou.h se-ondaril! interested in the
(s!-holo.! of emotion# (ursue the (h!siolo.i-al basis of emotional ex(erien-e*what we feel when
an.r! are arious (h!siolo.i-al -han.es and disturban-es.
>aid ?ume@s theor! of emotion 9"art $: -learl! illustrates a (ure sensation theor!. Unlike
(h!siolo.i-al theorists# ?ume i.nores the (h!siolo.i-al attendants of emotion. ,ndeed# in his iew#
emotions differ from (h!si-al (ains and (leasures (re-isel! be-ause emotions need not be
a--om(anied b! definite# lo-aliDable (h!si-al sensations. <motions# neertheless# hae a
-hara-teristi- feel. 5he! are sensations# if not s(e-ifi-all! (h!si-al sensations# and we ma!
distin.uish one emotion from another in (art b! determinin. how it feels. Su-h attention to the
(s!-holo.i-al or mental feel# as o((osed to feelin.s of (h!si-al disturban-e# allows sensation
theorists to distin.uish between mild emotions su-h as aestheti- en4o!ment and iolent emotions
su-h as ra.e. 5he distin-tion between -alm emotions# whi-h .enerall! hae onl! a mental feel# and
iolent ones# whi-h .enerall! inole (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es# is -entral to ?ume@s -lassifi-ation of
emotions. 3! -ontrast# in (h!siolo.i-al theories# in whi-h sensations of (h!si-al disturban-e are all*
im(ortant# aestheti- en4o!ment and kindred mild emotions do not a((ear to be emotions at all. 5he!
-an onl! be -ounted emotions b! stret-hin. the theor! to its limit# for exam(le# b! (ostulatin. er!
mild# almost indis-ernible (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es. 91ames# a (h!siolo.i-al theorist# -omes er!
-lose to doin. this. ?e remarks that the so*-alled 8intelle-tual feelin.s8 are almost inariabl!
a--om(anied b! (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es: 85he bodil! soundin.*board is at work# as -areful
intros(e-tion will show# far more than we usuall! su((ose.8:
5he most notable (h!siolo.i-al theor! is 0illiam 1ames@s theor! of emotion. /rmed with some
rudimentar! knowled.e of the brain# the nerous s!stem# and is-era# 1ames works throu.h an
a--ount 9adan-ed for his time: of the (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es underl!in. emotions. 9,t is
interestin. to -om(are 1ames@s a--ount with >es-artes@s anti2uated (h!siolo.i-al theor!.: 1ames
ar.ues that the feel of emotion*whi-h# for him# e2uals the emotion itself*is# in fa-t# nothin. but the
(er-e(tion of these (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es. 5o defend this -laim*that the (er-e(tion of
(h!siolo.i-al disturban-es is the emotion*1ames asks us to ima.ine what an emotion would be like if
we remoe from it all feelin.s of a.itation# -lamminess# tremblin.# flushin.# et-# 0e will be left# he
sa!s# with onl! an intelle-tual (er-e(tion# for exam(le# the (er-e(tion of dan.er without the a-tual
feelin. of fear.
?oweer -onin-in. 1ames@s ar.ument ma! be# one should be war! of it on two -ounts. First# it
shows# at most# that (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es are necessary to emotion 9we -annot hae the
emotion without the bodil! -han.e:# not that the emotion is nothin. but the (er-e(tion of bodil!
-han.e. 5r! similarl! ima.inin. fear without the (er-e(tion of dan.er. ,n the absen-e of an!
awareness of dan.er# -lamminess and ra(id breathin. mi.ht be inter(reted as a si.n of illness.
Se-ond# een if flushes# -hills# and the like are ne-essar! features of emotion# the! seem to be
ne-essar! onl! to what (hiloso(hers -all 8o--urrent8 emotions# that is# emotional ex(erien-es that
ha((en at s(e-ifi- times and hae determinate durations. 9Consider# for exam(le# su-h statements as
8,@m so embarrassed# , -ould -r!8 or 8, was so mad# , saw red.8: "h!siolo.i-al disturban-es do not
seem to be ne-essar! to what (hiloso(hers -all 8dis(ositional8 emotions. 5hat is# we sometimes
as-ribe emotions to ourseles without im(l!in. that at ea-h moment we are a-tuall! feeling or
ex(erien-in. the emotion. 5hus# we sa!# 8,@e loed her for !ears8 or 8For a lon. time# ,@e been afraid
he would do that8 without meanin. that at ea-h moment we are ex(erien-in. a dete-table feelin. of
loe or fear.
,n readin. sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories of emotion# it is im(ortant to mark the extensie use
of -ausal anal!ses. Sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories necessitate -ausal anal!ses= sin-e# as
basi-all! sim(le# unanal!Dable 8feels#8 emotions -annot be made u( of desires# behaiors# the
awareness of ob4e-ts# and so on. /n.er# for exam(le# is sim(l! the feelin. of reddenin.# tremblin.#
et-. Shoutin.# desirin. reen.e# and bein. aware of an insultin. (erson are not additional
-om(onents of an.er. 5he! are the -auses and effe-ts of an.er. /n insult ma! -ause us to be-ome
an.r!= an.er -auses us to shout and desire reen.e. /lthou.h ?ume em(lo!s -ausal anal!ses in his
des-ri(tion of 8dire-t8 and 8indire-t8 emotions# the use of -ausal anal!ses is nowhere more
oerwhelmin.l! eident than in >es-artes@s ruthlessl! me-hanisti- des-ri(tion of emotion. Fear# for
instan-e# is anal!Ded as follows: / fri.htenin. beast a((roa-hes. Gia the e!es and nere fibers# an
ima.e of the beast is -ast on the brain. 5his sets in motion the 8animal s(irits#8 whi-h flow to the ba-k
and dis(ose the le.s for fli.ht. 5he same motion of 8animal s(irits8 rarefies the blood# sendin. 8animal
s(irits8 ba-k to the brain to fortif! and maintain the (assion of fear 9/rti-le HHHG,:. 5he whole (ro-ess
a((ears to o--ur without the interention of -ons-iousness. /nd indeed# >es-artes -laims that the
(h!siolo.i-al disturban-es in fear ma! -ause fli.ht inde(endent of an! oluntar! a-tion 9/rti-le
HHHG,,,:. 0hat is (arti-ularl! si.nifi-ant 9and# as we shall see# (arti-ularl! 2uestionable: about not
onl! >es-artes@s -ausal anal!sis# but also about an! e2uall! extensie -ausal anal!sis is that it
means that emotions hae onl! a -ontin.ent# em(iri-al tie with their asso-iated features*with a -ertain
ob4e-t or situation# with emotional behaior# and with desire. /s a result# it is thus (ossible for a
(erson to be embarrassed about bein. late while doubtin. that she is. 9See 5halber.@s dis-ussion of
this (oint.:
0e will look at further -riti-isms of sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories shortl!.
2.2 Behavioral Theories
/lthou.h (hiloso(hers who ado-ate sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theories of emotion make the 8feel8
or sub4e-tie ex(erien-e of emotion -entral to their anal!ses of emotion# (ro(onents of behaioral
theories -on-entrate on another (rominent feature of emotion*emotional behaior. For them#
obserable behaior# not (riate ex(erien-e# is the basis for anal!Din. emotion. Some behaioral
theorists een den! that the 8feel8 of emotion (la!s an! (art in the anal!sis of emotion. 5his turn from
the 8feel8 of emotion to emotional behaior in (art refle-ts a differen-e in the wa! behaioral theorists
look at emotions. /s lon. as we tr! to 8.et at8 what an emotion is b! thinkin. about our own
ex(erien-es of an.er# loe# and the like# it seems natural to think of emotion as bein. (rimaril!
somethin. we feel inside us. 3ut not onl! do we ex(erien-e our own emotions# we obser!e emotions
in others. 0e see .uilt 8written all oer8 someone@s fa-e= we see the .lare of hostilit! or the flush of
ex-itement= and we ma! hear the tremor of sorrow in another@s oi-e or the an.er in erbal abuse.
Aoreoer# we sometimes dis-oer our own true feelin.s b! obserin. our a-tions. 0e ma! find
ourseles talkin. -onstantl! about a -ertain (erson and onl! then realiDe that we hae fallen in loe.
5here are also .ood (hiloso(hi-al reasons for obserin. behaior rather than -on-entratin.
ex-lusiel! on the sub4e-tie 8feel#8 in an anal!sis of emotion. /s we shall see# -laimin. that emotions
are (riate# inner ex(erien-es leads to the (aradoxi-al -on-lusion that we -an neer be mistaken
about our own emotions and that we -an neer hae reliable knowled.e of the emotions of others.
8<motional behaior8 is a-tuall! an umbrella term -oerin. not onl! deliberate or oluntar! erbal and
(h!si-al a-tions# su-h as shoutin. 4o!ousl! or embra-in. a friend affe-tionatel!# but also innate or
reflexie 8behaiors#8 su-h as wee(in. in .rief or startin. at a sur(risin. sound# as well as 9for some
theorists: uns(oken thou.hts and obious (h!siolo.i-al -han.es like the blush of embarrassment.
Some emotional behaiors ma! be learned and -ulturede(endent 9e...# kneelin. in reeren-e:#
whereas others 9e...# blushin.:# are innate. Some ma! be oluntar! ex(ressions of emotion# others
inoluntar!. Aoreoer# most -ontem(orar! writers who ado-ate behaioral theories talk not onl!
about the a-tual manifestation or (erforman-e of emotional behaiors# but also about a disposition to
exhibit them. 9Filbert R!le# for exam(le# ar.ues that an.er is a tenden-! or dis(osition to shout#
redden# and en.a.e in erbal abuse in the sort of wa! that brittleness is the tenden-! to shatter when
hit. / dis(osition is not a desire. 5o sa! that someone is dis(osed to blush when embarrassed is
sim(l! to sa! that she is likel! to blush.:
Charles >arwin made the first extensie stud! of emotional behaior and attem(ted to ex(lain its
ori.in b! its utilit! for surial# ,n his ma4or work on emotional behaior# "he Epression of the
Emotions in Man and #nimals, >arwin formulated three (rin-i(les to ex(lain the ori.in of emotional
behaiors. First# some emotional behaiors# he ar.ued# -learl! ori.inated in deliberate attem(ts to
reliee sensations or .ratif! desires= thus# he (ostulated that writhin. ma! hel( lessen (h!si-al (ain
and that a do. la!s ba-k his ears in fear or an.er to (reent them from bein. torn in a fi.ht. Su-h
seri-eable behaiors be-ome habitual in an animal and# ar.ued >arwin# eentuall! innate. 9>arwin
a--e(ted Bamark@s now dis-redited iew that habits -an be .eneti-all! transmitted.: 5his is the
(rin-i(le of seri-eable asso-iated habits. Se-ond# other emotional behaiors# su-h as a do.@s
wa..in. his tail# a((arentl! sere no useful (ur(ose= but the! arise# >arwin thou.ht# as the antithesis
of seri-eable behaiors asso-iated with o((osite emotions 9in this -ase# as the antithesis of the
do.@s ere-t tail in an.er:. 5his is the (rin-i(le of antithesis. Finall!# althou.h some (h!siolo.i-al
-han.es# su-h as the for-eful ins(iration of air# ma! sere to (re(are one for a-tion# other
(h!siolo.i-al -han.es# su-h as blushin. and blan-hin.# a((arentl! sere no useful (ur(ose# but
rather are the result of the (erson@s ex-ited bodil! state durin. an emotional ex(erien-e. >arwin
-alled this the (rin-i(le of the dire-t a-tion on the bod! of the ex-ited nerous s!stem.
Stri-tl! s(eakin.# >arwin@s work on emotional behaior is not a theor! of emotion. For him# emotional
behaior is neither wholl! nor (rimaril! -onstitutie of emotion# but rather epresses or is a sign of
emotion. 5he emotion itself is a distin-t (henomenon# whi-h causes emotional behaior. /bout
emotion# >arwin sa!s er! little. ?e a((arentl! a.reed with sensation and (h!siolo.i-al theorists that
emotions are (riate# inner ex(erien-es 9and hen-e the sort of ex(erien-e for whi-h one -an hae
onl! an outward si.n:.
>arwin@s theor! of emotional behaior reealed the need for an ade2uate a--ount of the -onne-tion
between emotion and behaior. ,n his 85he 5heor! of <motion8 9"art $$:# 1ohn >ewe! ar.ued that
>arwin@s notion of ex(ression fails to ex(lain wh! -ertain behaiors -hara-teriDe -ertain emotions.
Sa!in. that tremblin. and ra(id breathin. ex(ress fear does not ex(lain wh! 4ust these behaiors
t!(i-all! a--om(an! fear. /((l!in. >arwin@s own -on-e(t*that emotional behaiors derie from useful
res(onses to emotional situations * >ewe! ar.ues that emotional behaior is not -aused b! a
(reexistent emotion. 5he behaior is determined b! the situation and -an be ex(lained b! referrin. to
moements that were ori.inall!# or still are# useful in meetin. su-h a situation. 5remblin. and ra(id
breathin.# for instan-e# -hara-teriDe fear be-ause the! are (re(arator! to fli.ht from a dan.erous
situation. <motional behaiors# thus# are eli-ited dire-tl! b! external stimuli# and not b! some internal
8feel8 -alled the emotion.
>ewe! also -riti-iDed >arwin@s -on-e(t of ex(ression# ar.uin. that onl! to the obserer do behaiors
a((ear to ex(ress emotions. 5o the ex(erien-er# all behaior asso-iated with emotion is (artiall!
-onstitutie of the emotion itself. <motions# a--ordin. to >ewe!# hae three -om(onents: 9$: an
intelle-tual -om(onent# or the idea of the ob4e-t of emotion= 9I: a 8feel#8 or in >ewe!@s terms# a $uale%
and 9): a dis(osition to behae# or a wa! of behain.. For >ewe!# 8the mode of behaior is the
(rimar! thin.# and ... the ideal and the emotional ex-itation 6the 8feel87 are -onstituted at one and the
same time.8 ,n other words# the idea of the ob4e-t of emotion as well as the (e-uliar 8feel8 of an
emotion are both (rodu-ts of emotional behaior. ,n suddenl! -omin. u(on a bear# for instan-e# one
instin-tiel! (re(ares for fli.ht. 5here is a moment of tension# of ra(id breathin.# when the whole bod!
readies itself for a-tion. /s a result# the bear is first (er-eied as a bear*to*be*run*awa!*from= and the
feelin. of fear is 9as 1ames ar.ued: the feelin. of these (h!si-al -han.es.
5here are other# more serious (roblems with the iew that behaior ex(resses some inner# (riate
emotional (henomenon. 9,ndeed# the more .eneral thesis that all mental eents and states are inner
(riate (henomena (oses (hiloso(hi-al diffi-ulties.: First# if an emotion is onl! a (riate inner
ex(erien-e# a 8feel#8 ea-h (erson ne-essaril! has (riile.ed a--ess to and knowled.e of his or her
own emotions. For the same reason# we a((arentl! -ould neer be mistaken about what we feel= or
at least# there would be no wa! of dete-tin. our mistakes# sin-e we -ould label emotions onl! b! their
8feel.8 5hat we are alwa!s in the best (osition to know our own emotions and that we -annot
mistakenl! label them is 2uestionable. Freudian and other (s!-hoanal!sts work on the assum(tion
that a (erson can make mistakes about or een be unaware of what he or she feels and that the
(s!-hoanal!st ma! be in a mu-h better (osition than the (atient to determine the (atient@s true
feelin.s. /nd we do seem to make mistakes about our own emotions 9think of the bo! who aowedl!
hates the .irl down the street# but later dis-oers he loes her:# whereas others -orre-tl! re-o.niDed
them 9his (arents knew all alon.:. Aan! (hiloso(hers ar.ue that we a((eal to behaior# not to the
8feel8 of an emotion# in -orre-tin. ourseles and in re-o.niDin. others@ emotions. ,t will not do to re(l!
that in -ases of mistakes we -orre-t ourseles b! 8refeelin.8 the emotion= this raises a se-ond
(roblem# namel!# how does one know that one is refeelin. the same emotion rather than sim(l!
feelin. a different one; Nor will it do to re(l! that een if others ma! disa.ree with the wa! we label
our own emotions# we are still in the best (osition to determine what emotions we feel= for een were
this so# it ma! onl! be be-ause we are in a better (osition to know the full ran.e of our behaiors and
not be-ause we hae (riile.ed a--ess to some (riate inner ex(erien-e.
Se-ond# althou.h we -an be -ertain of our own emotions# we -an know other (eo(le@s emotions onl!
inferentiall! 9from what the! sa! and do:# and thus onl! tentatiel!. 3e-ause we blush when we are
embarrassed# we reason that# b! analo.!# when another (erson blushes# he must be embarrassed.
3ut without the (ossibilit! of -onfirmin. this inferen-e b! dire-t a--ess to the ex(erien-e of others# the
analo.! does not (roe that when others blush the! feel an! emotion or the same one we do. Yet our
as-ri(tions of emotions to others rarel! take this tentatie form. 0e do not hae to infer that our boss
is mad at us. 0e know. 5he emotion# and not merel! its ex(ression# seems to be a (ubli-
,n iew of -onsiderations like these# both (s!-holo.i-al behaiorists like 1ohn 0atson 9the father of
behaiorism: and 3. F. Skinner# as well as (hiloso(hi-al behaiorists like Filbert R!le# es-hew the
idea that behaior merel! ex(resses or si.nals some inner (riate emotional (henomenon. 5he!
ar.ue instead that behaior and the dis(osition to behae a-tuall! -onstitute the emotion itself. ,n "he
Concept of Mind 9"art ,G:# R!le ar.ues that all mental terms 9e...# 8feels an.r!#8 8beliees#8
8sus(e-ts8: -an be defined solel! in terms of behaior and that all as-ri(tions of mental states or
eents to ourseles and others -an be full! 4ustified b! a((eal to a (erson@s behaior or dis(osition to
behae in -hara-teristi- wa!s. 5his means# in effe-t# that be-ause mental terms refer to behaior and
dis(ositions to behae# mental states and eents# in-ludin. emotions# are no more (riate than
(h!si-al states.
2.3 Evaluative Theories
/s a rule# what we feel about other (eo(le# eents# and thin.s in our lies .enerall! indi-ates how we
alue them. 0hat we loe# admire# en!# and feel (roud of we also alue= what we hate# fear# and find
shameful or reoltin. we think ill of. 5hus# man! -ontem(orar! (hiloso(hers ar.ue that there is a
lo.i-al -onne-tion between emotions and ealuatie beliefs. ,t is (art of the lo.i- of shame# for
instan-e# that an!one who feels ashamed must also hold some belief to the effe-t that she has a-ted
wron.l!. Su-h theories 9whi-h we will sa! more about in the followin. se-tion: make emotions
lo.i-all! de(endent on ealuations. 3ut there is another im(ortant .rou( of theories that hold more
strai.htforwardl! that emotions are 9at least in (art: ealuations. 5hese theories we -all ealuatie
theories of emotion.
,n 4ust what sense emotions are ealuations de(ends on the (arti-ular ealuatie theor!. /--ordin. to
some theorists 9e...# Sartre and Solomon:# emotions are or resemble uns(oken alue 4ud.ments or
beliefs. Floom is a belief that nothin. is worthwhile. /--ordin. to others 9e...# ?ut-heson and
S-heler:# emotions are 8(er-e(tions8 of alue analo.ous to sensor! (er-e(tions of -olors and
sounds. ,n en4o!in. a (aintin.# we 8see8 that it is beautiful. Still other theorists 9e...# ?ume and
3rentano: hold that emotions are sim(l! (leasant or un(leasant sensations or (ro* or -on*attitudes on
whi-h we formulate our alue beliefs. 3e-ause we admire a (erson@s -hara-ter# we deem it .ood.
65he differen-es here obiousl! stem (artiall! from a disa.reement oer the kind of mental
(henomena emotions are 9see the dis-ussion 6in the intro to se-tion I aboe7:.7
,n addition to stressin. the ealuatie fun-tion of emotion# man! of these theorists deelo( -om(lex
anal!ses of emotion. Central to the theories of 3rentano# S-heler# Sartre# and Solomon# for exam(le#
is the idea that emotions are 8intentionall!8 dire-ted toward ob4e-ts in the world. 5hat is# insofar as
emotions are felt of# about# or toward thin.s in the world# the! are not 4ust brute 8feels#8 like a twin.e
or (an.= the! are a wa! of bein. -ons-ious or aware of the world. 3ein. (roud of an a-hieement is
one wa! of bein. aware of it. 95here are# of -ourse# other wa!s of bein. -ons-ious of an a-hieement
that do not ne-essaril! inole (ride *rememberin. it# ima.inin. it# or a-knowled.in. it# for exam(le.:
5hese theorists also isolate other -om(onents of emotion. S-heler# for exam(le# ar.ues that emotions
hae a distin-tie 8feel#8 whereas Sartre stresses the im(ortan-e of (h!si-al a.itation in at least some
emotions. 3rentano ar.ues that emotions are extremel! -om(lex (henomena# su..estin. that an.er
-ontains# in addition to a -on*attitude# a desire for reen.e# a state of (h!si-al a.itation# and arious
bodil! .estures# su-h as -len-hin. one@s fist and .rittin. one@s teeth.
Re.ardless of the differen-es amon. ealuatie theories# all (aint a uni2uel! rational (i-ture of
emotion. Far from bein. 8blind#8 irrational rea-tions that ma! (reent our iewin. the world
8ob4e-tiel!#8 emotions are e(istemolo.i-all! im(ortant mental (henomena that -om(lement reason@s
insi.ht b! leadin. to the world of moral# aestheti-# and reli.ious alues. Sometimes# of -ourse# our
emotions do lead us astra!. 0hat we hate ma! be 2uite laudable. 3ut an ealuatie theor! of emotion
tries to show what went wron. in these -ases rather than assumin. that emotions ne-essaril!
obs-ure or distort our ision of the world.
5he best*known ealuatie theories are (robabl! the moral sense and moral sentiment theories
deelo(ed in the ei.hteenth -entur! b! a .rou( of 3ritish moral (hiloso(hers# in-ludin. Bord
Shaftesbur! &Characteristics of Men, Manners, 'pinions, "imes(, Fran-is ?ut-heson 9see es(e-iall!
)llustrations on the Moral Sense and / S!stem of Moral Philosophy(, and >aid ?ume 9see 8Of the
"assions8 in "art $:. None of these# thou.h# are ealuatie theories of emotion in .eneral. 5hat is# in
moral sense and sentiment theories# onl! -ertain 8intelle-tual8 (leasures and (ains 9e...# aestheti-
en4o!ment and moral a((roal: hae an ealuatie fun-tion. 5he ordinar! .amut of emotions*
resentment# fear# ho(e# et-.* are more or less 8blind8 or irrational emotional res(onses. ,n fa-t# most
ealuatie theories# and not sim(l! moral sentiment ones# are limited in 4ust this wa! be-ause the!
must take into a--ount the fa-t that our emotions fre2uentl! seem to be out of ste( with the real
alues of thin.s 9we fall in loe with a s-oundrel and dislike a irtuous (erson:. 5his su..ests that
emotions are not ealuatie or at least that the! are not reliabl! ealuatie. One wa! out of this
diffi-ult! is sim(l! to di-hotomiDe the emotional s(here into ealuatie emotions and 8blind8 emotions.
Unfortunatel!# this (re-ludes an! theor! of emotion in .eneral and has the serious drawba-k of
-astin. doubt on whether the few ealuatie 8emotions8 are emotions. 9,f moral a((roal# for exam(le#
differs so from the -ommon run of emotions# wh! -onsider it an emotion;:
0hereas Bord Shaftesbur! introdu-ed the idea of s(e-ial moral feelin.s# Fran-is ?ut-heson
formulated the first detailed ealuatie theor! of emotion. ?ut-heson (ostulated the existen-e of
8inner senses8 9e...# a moral sense and a sense of beaut!: analo.ous to the fie external senses.
5hese inner senses enable us to ex(erien-e su-h (leasant feelin.s as moral a((roal and aestheti-
en4o!ment. ?ut-heson@s su..estion was that# bein. analo.ous to seein. and hearin.# (leasant and
(ainful feelin.s 9ea-h with its own distin-tie 8feel8: 8(er-eie8 moral and aestheti- alues.
3oth ?ut-heson@s -ontem(oraries and later (hiloso(hers 2uestioned the existen-e of inner senses
-om(arable to the external senses. >aid ?ume subse2uentl! abandoned this analo.! between
emotion and (er-e(tion# thou.h he still defended s(e-ial ealuatie sentiments. /s we saw earlier# for
?ume# emotions are sim(le 8feels8 9unlike sensor! (er-e(tions:. /s a result# ?ume ar.ued that moral
and aestheti- sentiments do not (er-eie alues. Neertheless# we ma! a((eal to feelin.s of moral
a((roal or aestheti- en4o!ment in makin. alue 4ud.ments be-ause# he ar.ued# a 8alue8 is sim(l!
the (ower of a (erson or thin. to eoke these sentiments.
/fter the ei.hteenth -entur!# 3ritish moralists lost interest in moral sense and sentiment theories. 3ut
interest in an ealuatie theor! of emotion was rekindled amon. -ontinental moralists in the
nineteenth and the twentieth -entur!. /mon. those who -onstru-ted new ealuatie theories were
/lexius Aeinon. &'n Emotional Presentation(, FranD 3rentano# and Aax S-heler 9"art $$:.
,n "he 'rigin of 'ur *no+ledge of Right and Wrong, 3rentano sket-hes an ealuatie theor! of
emotion in general. /ll emotions -ontain an ealuatie (ro* or -on*attitude. 5hus# resentment# ho(e#
4o!# and des(air fun-tion e2uall! to assess our situation. 3ut our assessments ma! be wron.. Our
hatred for and -onse2uent -ondemnation of another (erson ma! be unwarranted. ,n handlin. su-h
-ases of seemin.l! irrational emotions 9emotions that -onfli-t with a-tual alues:# 3rentano draws an
analo.! between emotion and 4ud.in.. ,f we look at the sorts of 4ud.ments we make# we find that
some are what 3rentano -alls 8blind8 4ud.ments# whereas others are 8eident8 or 8insi.htful.8 Aan! of
our 4ud.ments arise from instin-t# habit# or (re4udi-e 9think# for exam(le# of the stereot!(ed beliefs
man! hae about intelle-tuals# women driers# and .a! men:. /lthou.h we ma! be stron.l!
-onin-ed of their truth# we -an find no rational .rounds to su((ort them. 80hat is affirmed in this wa!
ma! be true#8 ar.ues 3rentano# 8but it is 4ust as likel! to be false. For these 4ud.ments inole nothin.
that manifests -orre-tness.8 ,n -ontrast# other 4ud.ments are manifestl! -orre-t*-laims# for instan-e#
about what we are now thinkin.# as well as mathemati-al and lo.i-al 4ud.ments. 5hese 4ud.ments
a((ear 8eident#8 -ertain# and infallible. <motions# too# 3rentano thinks# ma! hae or ma! la-k
8eiden-e.8 /t times# we loe or hate thin.s out of instin-t# habit# or (re4udi-e. 5he miserl! loe of
mone! is loe of this sort# and# a--ordin. to 3rentano# we do not ex(erien-e the 8-orre-tness8 of our
loe or its bein. eidentl! a loe of what is worth! of loe. 90ould the miser hae to a.ree;: /t other
times# sa!# in loin. wisdom# we ex(erien-e the 8-orre-tness8 of our loe. 0e are -ertain we loe
what is .ood and worth! of bein. loed. ,n likenin. 8-orre-t8 emotions to eident 4ud.ments# 3rentano
soled a ma4or (roblem of the moral sentiment theorists# namel!# 80hat .uarantees that what we
admire# en4o!# or loe is in fa-t .ood 9es(e-iall! sin-e not eer!one admires# en4o!s# or loes the
same thin.s:;8 For 3rentano# it is the ex(erien-e of -orre-tness.
Followin. 3rentano# Aax S-heler# like the earlier moral sentiment theorists# on-e a.ain distin.uishes
between ealuatie emotions 9what he -alls 8feelin.*fun-tions8: and nonealuatie emotions 98feelin.
* states8:. <aluatie emotions are intentional mental a-ts*wa!s of bein. aware of the world. 5hrou.h
su-h emotions we be-ome aware of alues in mu-h the wa! that in seein. we (er-eie -olors and
sha(es. ,n en4o!in. Gan Fo.h@s 8Starr! Ni.ht#8 for instan-e# we 8see8 that it is beautiful.
Nonealuatie emotions# b! -ontrast# are emotional rea-tions to what we hae alread! deemed .ood
or bad. 5he! are not a form of awareness. /lthou.h S-heler was not entirel! -onsistent on this (oint#
he a((arentl! thou.ht that most emotions 94o!# fear# an.er# et-.: are 8feelin.*states8 and do not
-ontain an ealuatie -om(onent.
From the moral sentiment theorists throu.h S-heler# ealuatie theories emer.ed# not so mu-h from a
desire to understand emotion as from an effort to -ome to .ri(s with the sour-e of alue*knowled.e.
On the other hand# Sartre and Solomon ta-kled emotion headon# deelo(in. a er! different sort of
ealuatie theor! in whi-h emotions -olor or embue the world with alue. Unlike the (re-edin.
theorists# Sartre (resu((oses the (ossibilit! of makin. ealuations inde(endentl! of emotion. <motion
itself# whi-h is alwa!s brou.ht forth b! some (roblemati- situation# 8ma.i-all! transforms8 the
situation b! re*ealuatin. it in the sense of (ro4e-tin. a new aluestru-ture. ,n the .loom that besets
us after a loss# we emotionall! reealuate the world into an ealuatiel! neutral one 9eer!thin. is
.re!# nothin. is interestin.:# attem(tin. to minimiDe our sense of loss b! den!in. that an!thin. is
worthwhile. 5his is effe-ted throu.h emotional behaior *aoidin. bri.ht and bus! (la-es# sittin.
2uietl! alone# et-. 5he ealuatie transformation effe-ted b! emotion o--urs entirel! at the
(rerefle-tie leel. 0e do not deliberatel! alter the world@s alue*stru-ture nor are we aware of hain.
done so. 8,f emotion is a 4oke# it is a 4oke we beliee in.8 ,n emotion# we find ourseles in a realit! we
ourseles hae (ro4e-ted. /nd a--ordin. to Sartre# the state of (h!si-al a.itation and disturban-e
-hara-teristi- of man! emotions re(resents the seriousness with whi-h we beliee in this world*iew.
,n his theor!# the rationalit! of emotion deries not from its refle-tin. the true alues of thin.s# but in
its sub4e-tiel! transformin. (roblemati- and undesirable situations.
2.4 Cognitive Theories
,n the (h!siolo.i-al theories of >es-artes and 1ames# -ons-iousness (la!s (ra-ti-all! no (art# either
as (artiall! -onstitutin. emotion or in .eneratin. and maintainin. it. <motions are immediate reflex
res(onses to situations without the intermediar! of -ons-ious inter(retation or -o.nition of the
emotional -ontext. ?ere emotion trul! stands o((osed to reason# when 8reason8 broadl! means an!
kind of -o.nitie or inter(retie a-tiit!. /t their far extreme# su-h a--ounts are what mi.ht be -alled
8-o.nitie8 theories of emotion*ones in whi-h emotions are re.arded as bein. either wholl! or (artiall!
-o.nitions or as bein. lo.i-all! or -ausall! de(endent on -o.nitions. 8Co.nition8 here does not
ne-essaril! mean an a-t of knowin. 9althou.h# as in 3rentano@s theor! of -orre-t emotion# it ma!:.
Co.nition# in this -ontext# ma! be sim(l! a belief about or an inter(retation of a thin. or state of
affairs. Aan! of the theories alread! dis-ussed under different heads -ould also be labeled -o.nitie
theories. For ?ume# -ertain beliefs are -ausall! re2uired to (rodu-e 8dire-t8 and 8indire-t8 (assions
9althou.h not for the -alm moral and aestheti- sentiments:. /lmost all the ealuatie theories are
similarl! -o.nitie 9moral sentiment theories (ose a s(e-ial (roblem# sin-e it is not -lear whether
moral sentiments are themseles a sort of -o.nition or whether the! are sim(l! (leasures that (roide
the basis for ealuatie beliefs:. For both 3rentano and S-heler# at least some emotions are
themseles -o.nitions of alue= for Sartre and Solomon# emotions are ealuatie inter(retations.
S-ha-ter and Sin.er@s (s!-holo.i-al theor! also em(hasiDes the role of -o.nition in emotional
ex(erien-es. On the basis of ex(erimental studies# the! ar.ue that a state of (h!siolo.i-al arousal
and an awareness and inter(retation of one@s situation are both -ru-ial to emotion. Aeetin. a man
with a .un in a dark alle! ma! indu-e (h!siolo.i-al ex-itation 9as in the 1ames*Ban.e theor!:# but the
ex(erien-e of fear de(ends on a -o.nitie inter(retation of the situation@s im(li-ations. 9One must -all
u(on a whole s!stem of knowled.e and (ast ex(erien-e -on-ernin. the use of .uns and the (robable
intent of an!one lurkin. in dark alle!s with a .un.: ,n the absen-e of su-h -o.nitions# no amount of
(h!siolo.i-al disturban-e will eer be ex(erien-ed as and labeled an emotion.
/lthou.h ?ume and S-ha-ter and Sin.er ar.ue that beliefs -ause emotions# and man! ealuatie
theorists ar.ue that emotions are in (art beliefs# in another set of more -ontem(orar! -o.nitie
theories# a lo.i-al -onne-tion between emotion and -o.nition is (ostulated. For the most (art# these
latter theories derie from a .eneral (hiloso(hi-al moement -alled 8ordinar! lan.ua.e (hiloso(h!#8
or 8lin.uisti- (hiloso(h!#8 the main thesis of whi-h is that if we wish to understand a .ien
(henomenon, we should examine the wa! we talk about it and es(e-iall! the lo.i-al restri-tions
.oernin. the use of terms referrin. to this (henomenon. So# in the -ase of emotion# we should
examine the -riteria for the -orre-t use of emotion terms. Under what -onditions# for exam(le# does it
make sense to sa! 8, am an.r!8; 9Can !ou be an.r! at an inanimate ob4e-t or at someone who !ou
doubt has harmed !ou in an! wa!; ?ere it is not a 2uestion of what !ou# in fa-t# feel, but what !ou
-an# lo.i-all!# sa! about !our emotions.:
<rrol 3edford takes this a((roa-h 98<motions#8 "art ,G:# ar.uin. that emotions lo.i-all! (resu((ose
both ealuatie and fa-tual beliefs and that ea-h t!(e of emotion has a t!(i-al set of beliefs. 5hus# he
ar.ues that 8emotion words form (art of the o-abular! of a((raisal and -riti-ism.8 5he -laim# 8, am
an.r! at m! sister#8 sa!s somethin. not onl! about m! own emotional state# but also indi-ates some
ne.atie ealuation of m! sister. ,t is# so to s(eak# an indire-t alue*4ud.ment. 3e-ause emotion
statements fun-tion in this wa!# the! lo.i-all! (resu((ose some ealuatie belief. ,n this iew# it is a
lin.uisti- error# a misuse of lan.ua.e# to sa!# 8, am an.r! at m! sister# but , don@t beliee she -an be
-riti-iDed in an! wa!.8 <motions also (resu((ose fa-tual beliefs about the emotional -ontext. ?o(e
and 4o!# for exam(le# de(end on different assessments of the (robabilit! of an eent. One -an be
4o!ous about an eent that a-tuall! has ha((ened or is er! likel! to ha((en# but not about one that
one sin-erel! doubts will ha((en. 9Contrast this with ho(e. 0e -annot ho(e for what has alread!
trans(ired# and (erha(s not een for what is er! likel! to o--ur# althou.h we -an ho(e for what is
unlikel!# e...# winnin. a lotter!.: 3eliefs about res(onsibilit! and about (ersonal and so-ial
relationshi(s ma! also enter into emotions. <mbarrassment and shame differ in their as-ri(tions of
res(onsibilit! 9one -an be embarrassed about an unintentional Freudian sli(# but not ashamed of it:.
Similarl!# 4ealous! and en! (resu((ose different so-ial relationshi(s. 0ithout further ex(lanation# it
would be in-orre-t to sa! that one is 4ealous of the loe affair two stran.ers are -ondu-tin. 9althou.h
one mi.ht well be enious:.
One adanta.e of an! -o.nitie theor! is that a -lear anal!sis of the rationalit! of emotions is
(ossible. For# althou.h our emotions ma! be irrational or ina((ro(riate to the a-tual situation# the! are
so onl! be-ause we hold mistaken or un4ustifiable beliefs about the situation. 9, ma! be furious at m!
sister for hain. .ossi(ed about me# when in fa-t she hasn@t.: 5he tables are thus turned= it is
8reason#8 not emotion# that should be -har.ed with irrationalit!.
Frantin. that emotions in some wa! inole -o.nition# it is an o(en 2uestion and a to(i- of
-onsiderable debate 4ust how -o.nition is related to emotion. ,s -o.nition -ausall! ne-essar!; ,s it
lo.i-all! ne-essar!; Or is an emotion itself a -o.nition; ,rin. 5halber. wei.hs the merits of the
-ausal ersus the lo.i-al a--ount# and o(ts for an alternatie that -ombines both iews.
3.1 What Co!t" a" a! E#ot$o!?
,t would be a mistake to (retend that there is a.reement as to what are to be -onsidered emotions.
Certain (assions seem to be in-luded in eer! list of emotions# notabl!# an.er# fear# 4ealous!# and
es(e-iall! intense forms of loe. Some hae been the sub4e-t of (rotra-ted (hiloso(hi-al debate. ,s
res(e-t# for exam(le# an emotion; /--ordin. to some moral (hiloso(hers# ,mmanuel Eant@s entire
ethi-s# in whi-h res(e-t for the moral law is -onsidered to be a motie 2uite different from other
desires and emotions# turns on this (oint. ,s loe an emotion; Certainl! the adoles-ent ariet! of
romanti- loe must be said to be so# with its t!(i-al (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es and its
un-om(romisin. obsessieness. 3ut what about the 8-on4u.al8 loe of a lon.*married -ou(le# in
whi-h su-h (h!siolo.i-al disturban-es are rarel! 9if eer: in eiden-e; 0hat about the loe of -ountr!
or# ?ume@s exam(le# the loe of 4usti-e; Should these lon.*term# relatiel! -alm emotions be -alled
8emotions8; Or are we to -all emotions onl! those rather iolent (assions# whi-h so often (resent
themseles ex(losiel!# momentaril!# and 8irrationall!8; ?ume insisted that we should so desi.nate
both the 8-alm8 and the 8iolent8 (assions and that the former were often mu-h more im(ortant in our
understandin. of human nature than the latter. ,n (arti-ular# that .eneral sentiment that the
ei.hteenth*-entur! (hiloso(hers 9not onl! ?ume# but also 4ean*1a-2ues Rousseau and /dam Smith#
to name but three: -alled 8s!m(ath!8 seemed to be essential to Aoralit! and to our .ood -on-e(tion
of ourseles. 3efore we -an answer the 2uestion# 80hat is an emotion;8 we would first need to a.ree
about what are -lassified as emotions.
/re moods emotions; 0hat about 4o!# .loom# dread# or anxiet!; >oes it matter that moods ma! be
(rotra-ted oer a (eriod of da!s or weeks# whereas most of the iolent emotions last minutes or
hours; >oes it matter that most moods seem to be far less distin-t about their ob4e-ts*what the! are
8about8 * than are most emotions; 0hat about su-h (assions as 8the loe of life#8 the fear of the
unknown# or bein. 8an.r! with the world8; 0hat about those moods that do seem to be 8about8
somethin. in (arti-ular# for instan-e# bein. de(ressed about that letter or bein. anxious about bein.
re4e-ted.: /re moods emotions: /re emotions short*term# s(e-ifi- moods; Or should moods and
emotions be shar(l! distin.uished# as two 2uite distin-t t!(es of (assion;
Some (hiloso(hers hae attem(ted to distin.uish between emotions and moods and between the
short*term iolent emotions and the lon.er*term -alm emotions# with the distin-tion between an
8e(isode8 and a 8dis(osition.8 /n e(isode is an on.oin. eent# usuall! short term and distin-tl! bound
in time. 98, .ot an.r! when he walked in the door and , didn@t -alm down until , heard him leae.8: /
dis(osition is a tenden-! to be sub4e-t to -ertain kinds of e(isodes. 980heneer , see her# , .et
.oosebum(s all oer.8: 5he distin-tion was made -entral to the (hiloso(h! of mind b! Filbert R!le in
his e(o-h*makin. Concept of Mind &,-.-(. R!le anal!Ded most mental eents in terms of dis(ositions
to behae in -ertain wa!s# but the distin-tion is now often used in a more .eneral wa!. ,t has been
su..ested 9for instan-e# b! 0illiam /lston in the arti-le on 8Feelin. and <motion8 in the Encyclopedia
of Philosophy( that emotions as su-h are e(isodi-# -onsistin. of an immediate feelin. and a
(h!siolo.i-al rea-tion# but man! emotion*terms si.nif! not emotions as su-h# but rather dis(ositions
to an emotion. Bon.*term an.er# on this a--ount# should not (ro(erl! be thou.ht of as an.er as su-h#
but rather as the dis(osition to .et an.r! under -ertain -ir-umstan-es. 8Con4u.al8 loe# too# is often
taken not to be the emotion of loe 9exem(lified b! our adoles-ent in loe:# althou.h it mi.ht well be
taken to be a dis(osition to hae a wide ariet! of e(isodi- emotions# not all of whi-h are loin.
94ealous! and resentment# for exam(le.:
>istin-tions between the 8-alm8 and the 8iolent8 emotions and between e(isodi- and dis(ositional
emotion*terms show us that we must be extremel! -autious in askin. 80hat is an emotion;8 as if
emotions were a set of homo.eneous (henomena. Some emotions seem to be more (h!si-al than
others= some seem wholl! tied to a (erson@s beliefs so that (h!si-al ex(ression and (h!siolo.! seem
all but irreleant. Some emotions seem bound to the immediate -ir-umstan-es# others seem to be
(ossible under almost an! -ir-umstan-es. Some emotions are -learl! -onne-ted with (leasure and
(ain= others# su-h as s-ientifi- -uriosit! or the loe of 4usti-e# would seem to be lar.el! 8selfless.8
Some emotions -an be easil! -han.ed throu.h rational dis-ussion= others -annot be. Some emotions
seem to be -om(letel! be!ond our -ontrol# whereas others seem to be lar.el! willful and oluntar!.
/melie Rort! has shown that lists of JemotionsK hae not alwa!s been the same# een oer the (ast
few !ears. 6/melie Rort!# Eplaining Emotions &/os /n.eles: Uniersit! of California "ress# $%&+:.7 /s
the anal!ses and the 2uestions -han.e# so do lists# and so the two 2uestions# 80hat is an emotion;8
and 80hat -ounts as an emotion;8 turn out to be related. One -annot answer one without (roidin.
some sort of answer to the other.
3.2 Which Emotions Are Basic
Sin-e an-ient times# theorists of emotion hae attem(ted to list the 8basi-8 emotions# emotions found
in irtuall! eer!one# (resumabl! from birth# that -ombine to form the more s(e-ialiDed and
so(histi-ated emotions. >es-artes# for instan-e# listed six su-h basi- emotions: wonder# loe# hatred#
desire# 4o!# and sadness 9/rti-le BH,H:. /ll other emotions# >es-artes su..ested# are 8-om(osed of
these.8 5he /meri-an behaiorist 1ohn 0atson# more fru.al in his emotional meta(h!si-s# listed onl!
three 8basi-8 emotions: an.er# fear# and loe 9in the (rimitie sense of 8de(enden-!8:. 5he mole-ules
of our emotional life are -om(osed of these elemental atoms# a--ordin. to his iew. S(inoDa
su..ests that 4ealous! is a -ombination of hatred and en!. Freud# takin. 4ealous! to be a far more
-om(lex emotion# breaks it down into .rief# sadness# enmit!# self*hate# and 8the nar-issisti- wound.8
0hat are the basi- emotions; 3efore makin. !et another attem(t to answer that 2uestion# it is
essential to be -lear about what it is that is bein. asked. Aust a 8basi-8 emotion be uniersal to all
human bein.s; Or mi.ht there be different 8basi-8 emotions in different -ultures; Aust a 8basi-8
emotion be manifest from infan-! or is it (ossible that these emotions are learned or deelo(ed;
Aust a 8basi-8 emotion be an atomisti- -om(onent in our emotional -hemistr!# whi-h itself -annot be
broken down; Or mi.ht a 8basi-8 emotion itself be a -om(lex stru-ture# a gestalt that .ies rise to
other emotions not throu.h -ombination# but rather throu.h dissolution or transformation; ,ndeed# are
there 8basi-8 emotions at all or mi.ht there be onl! an enormousl! -om(lex matrix of arious
emotions# interwoen as different (arts of a broad ta(estr!# so -om(lex that few of us eer ex(erien-e
more @ than a (art of it; Or# -onersel!# mi.ht there be one or a few basi- emotions# with the
differen-e between our man! ex(ressions of emotion bein. the differen-e in the wa! we think of or
8label8 the emotion as ex(ressed# (erha(s a differen-e in -ir-umstan-e rather than stru-ture;
3.3 What Are Emotions A!out "#ntentionality$
/s we su..ested earlier# one of the most -ontroersial issues to emer.e in -ontem(orar! anal!ses of
emotion is 8intentionalit!#8 or what an emotion is 8about.8 5he (henomenon is sim(le to des-ribe. /n
emotion is not sim(l! an 8inner8 feelin.# like a heada-he= it also has an 8outer8 referen-e# to some
situation# (erson# ob4e-t# or state of affairs. / (erson in loe loes someone. 9<en a (erson 8in loe
with loe8 loes someone or other as the 8ob4e-t8 of his or her loe.: One is an.r! about somethin.#
een if one seems to be an.r! about eer!thin. else as well. Some emotions refer ba-k to oneself*
shame and (ride# for instan-e*but the! still hae a referen-e oer and aboe whateer feelin.s#
(h!siolo.!# and behaior -hara-teriDe the emotion.
5hese are sim(le obserations# but the (hiloso(hi-al ramifi-ations are numerous. 5he S-holasti-
(hiloso(hers of the late Aiddle /.es (ointed out a -urious feature of intentionalit!# whi-h the! -alled
8intentional inexisten-e.8 95his terminolo.! was reintrodu-ed into modern (hiloso(h! b! FranD
3rentano in the nineteenth -entur!.: 5he ob4e-t of an emotion 9or an! 8mental a-t8:# as an intentional
ob4e-t# need not exist. One -ould fall in loe# for exam(le# with a fi-tional -hara-ter# (erha(s a
-hara-ter in a moie or a noel# who does not exist. 0e often be-ome an.r! about su((osed eents#
whi-h turn out not to hae o--urred# and we .riee oer su((osed losses# whi-h we later find out to
hae been falsel! re(orted. Su-h exam(les raise ominous ontolo.i-al (roblems# whi-h hae been the
sub4e-t of (hiloso(hi-al debates for -enturies. 5he 8ob4e-t8 of su-h emotions*what the! are 8about8 *
is not an a-tual ob4e-t# and so the -onne-tion between the emotion and its ob4e-t -annot be the
ordinar! relationshi( between sub4e-t and ob4e-t as in 81oe wat-hed ?arr!8 or 8Fred ki-ked Feor.e.8
,f 1oe is an.r! be-ause he beliees that ?arr! stole his -ar 9whi-h he# in fa-t# did not:# the ob4e-t of
1oe@s emotion is the -urious ob4e-t 5?/5 ?/RRY S5OB< ?,S C/R. 3ut if there is no su-h fa-t or
state of affairs# how then are we to des-ribe the status of the 8ob4e-t8 1oe@s emotion is 8about;8 0e
-annot (ro(erl! sa! that 1oe is an.r! 8about nothin.#8 but neither -an we literall! sa! that he is an.r!
about ?arr!@s theft of his -ar.
5he (roblems of intentionalit! arise from the sim(le obseration that our emotions are 8about
somethin..8 0hat is the relationshi( that this misleadin.l! sim(le word 8about8 re(resents; >aid
?ume introdu-ed the (henomenon of intentionalit! into modern dis-ussions 9without usin. that word:
and (ointed out the awkward relationshi( between an emotion and its intentional ob4e-t*what it is
8about8 * and the differen-e between the ob4e-t and the (s!-holo.i-al -ause of the emotion 9that set
of -ir-umstan-es that brou.ht it about:. "ride# for instan-e# is anal!Ded b! ?ume as an emotion
-aused b! the idea of our own a--om(lishment# whi-h# in turn# (rodu-es in us another idea# Of S<BF#
whi-h is (ride@s ob4e-t. 5his -lums! relation between -ause# emotion# and ob4e-t# whi-h he des-ribes
as 8an im(ression betwixt two ideas#8 inoles an idea of one@s self both as -ause and as ob4e-t.
0hat is the -onne-tion between the two; ,s the intentional ob4e-t nothin. other than the -ause of an
emotion; 3ut the -ause must be an a-tual eent or a state of affairs 9e...# a (er-e(tion or a thou.ht#
as well as an in-ident or a situation:= the ob4e-t# howeer# must hae that -urious (ro(ert! of
8intentional inexisten-e.8 ,n -ases in whi-h a (erson@s emotion is mistaken# then the -ause is -learl!
different from the ob4e-t. Some (hiloso(hers hae -on-luded# therefore# that the ob4e-t is alwa!s
somethin. other than the -ause of the emotion. 9See Eenn!# "art ,G.:
Current -ontroersies oer the intentionalit! of emotions is further -onfused b! the un-lear
relationshi(s between the intentionalit! of emotion and the forms of lan.ua.e used to des-ribe
intentionalit! 9often -alled 8intensionalit!8 with an 8s8:. ,ntentionalit! re2uires that (arti-ular emotions
hae (arti-ular sorts of ob4e-ts= intensionalit! re2uires that -ertain des-ri(tions of an emotion entail
-ertain des-ri(tions of its ob4e-t. For exam(le# -allin. an emotion $$ (ride8 seems to re2uire that what
one is (roud of be des-ribed as one@s own a--om(lishment or a-hieement. 5his .eneral 2uestion
was raised obli2uel! b! ?ume# who -alled the -onne-tion between an emotion and the idea that was
its ob4e-t a 8natural8 -onne-tion# an ambi.uous term that hel(ed obs-ure the 2uestion whether the
-onne-tion was sim(l! a -ausal -onne-tion between ideas# as ?ume@s theor! .enerall! ado-ated# or
a lo.i-al -onne-tion of some sort# su-h that an emotion without a -ertain 9kind of: ob4e-t -ould not
9lo.i-all!: be said to be that -ertain kind of emotion. 5o be afraid# for instan-e# re2uires an ob4e-t that
is belieed to be fearsome= otherwise# there is no fear. Contem(orar! /meri-an and 3ritish authors
hae eleated this (roblem to the er! -enter of the debates -on-ernin. emotions= we shall see
seeral treatments 9e...# b! Eenn! in "art ,G:.
5he (roblemati- -onne-tion between an emotion and its 8ob4e-t8 is further -om(li-ated b! the fa-t
that different emotions are 8about8 different as(e-ts of an ob4e-t. 5his has lead seeral authors#
followin. the Ferman (henomenolo.ist <dmund ?usserl# to distin.uish between different 8leels8 of
intentionalit! and also between the intentional ob4e-t and the intentional 8a-t8 of an emotion. For
exam(le# a (erson mi.ht loe Sarah@s hair without loin. Sarah# or i-e ersa. One mi.ht be an.r!
about a sin.le bad (erforman-e without bein. an.r! about the (la! itself. One mi.ht feel ashamed of
one@s behaior without hatin. oneself alto.ether. /melie Rort!# for instan-e# distin.uishes between
the 8ob4e-t8 and the 8tar.et8 of an emotion# the former referrin. to the oerall ob4e-t# the latter
referrin. onl! to that (arti-ular as(e-t releant to the emotion. 5he same ob4e-t or as(e-t mi.ht be
the referen-e of er! different emotional ,9 a-ts#8 and a (arti-ular emotional a-t# for exam(le#
resentment# mi.ht well refer to a number of different as(e-ts of the (erson resented.
3.4 E%&laining Emotions
<motions -an be ex(lained in at least two distin-tie wa!s# both of whi-h -an be initiated b! su-h a
2uer! as 80h! did he .et so an.r!;8 5he first kind of ex(lanation mi.ht be sim(l! exem(lified b! the
answer# 8?e didn@t slee( at all last ni.ht.8 5he se-ond -an be illustrated b! 8?e thou.ht she was tr!in.
to kill him.8 5he first refers to the -ause of the emotion# the se-ond to the intentional ob4e-t of the
Causal ex(lanations of emotion ma! hae the law*like form# 8wheneer H ha((ens# then < 9an
emotion: o--urs#8 but more often su-h law*like .eneraliDations are merel! im(lied. 5o sa!# for
exam(le# that 8She .ot an.r! be-ause she saw the oran.e wall8 leaes the extent of the -ausal
.eneraliDation o(en. 9Not eer!one .ets an.r! when the! see an oran.e wall# nor is it -lear that what
is im(lied is that she .ets an.r! wheneer she sees an oran.e wall.: / -ausal ex(lanation of an
emotion ma! be as sim(le as the desi.nation of the in-ident that 8tri..ered it#8 or it ma! be as
-om(lex and as detailed as the whole -ausal histor! of a -ertain emotion in a -ertain (erson. 3ut
what is -riti-al to eer! -ausal ex(lanation is that it -ites ante-edent -onditions or eents without
whi-h the (arti-ular emotion would not hae -ome about 9leain. aside the -om(lex 2uestion of
alternatie -auses:.
/n intentional ex(lanation# on the other hand# ex(lains an emotion in terms of the iew(oint of the
sub4e-t# whether or not the 8ob4e-t8 he or she des-ribes -an also (la! a (art in a -ausal ex(lanation.
One mi.ht sa! that -ausal ex(lanations are 8ob4e-tie8 and are 9at least sometimes: inde(endent of
the iew(oint of the sub4e-t# whereas intentional ex(lanations alwa!s de(end on the iew(oint of the
sub4e-t. / more te-hni-al wa! of makin. this (oint# in the lan.ua.e of 8intensionalit!#8 would be to sa!
that the -ausal ex(lanation of an emotion inoles des-ri(tions that are 8trans(arent8 and -an be
rendered in a number of wa!s that are inde(endent of the sub4e-t# whereas intentional ex(lanations
inole des-ri(tions that are 8o(a2ue8 and (resu((ose des-ri(tions that a--uratel! -hara-teriDe the
sub4e-t@s (oint of iew. For exam(le# a -ausal ex(lanation of 81oe .ot an.r! when he saw the snake8
mi.ht 4ust as well be .ien as 81oe .ot an.r! when he saw the .arden hose# whi-h he mistook for a
snake.8 3ut this is not a (ossible des-ri(tion of the ob4e-t of his emotion for 1oe at the time= the
-ausal ex(lanation -an des-ribe the .arden hose in an! number of wa!s= the intentional ex(lanation
is limited to some des-ri(tion of a snake# sin-e that was the ob4e-t of 1oe@s an.er.
"h!siolo.i-al ex(lanations are an im(ortant form of -ausal ex(lanation. 0e often ex(lain a (erson@s
irritabilit! b! -itin. the fa-t that he Or she had too little slee( or too mu-h to drink. "h!siolo.i-al
ex(lanations are ex(lanations that 2uite obiousl! a((l! whether or not the sub4e-t is aware of them.
<er! emotion# for instan-e# has its (roximate -auses in the brain# but onl! a neuro(h!siolo.ist -ould
(ossibl! know this# and een then# it would be an odd ex(lanation for a (erson to offer as an a--ount
of his or her own behaior.
Aore (roblemati- are ex(lanations -itin. (s!-holo.i-al -auses. For exam(le# we -an ex(lain the fa-t
that a (erson .ets an.r! wheneer he sees a (oster adertisin. the S(anish bullfi.hter 8<l Cor dobes8
b! (ointin. out that su-h (osters remind him of his old S(anish .irlfriend# who left him in "am(lona.
3ut the (oster*or more a--uratel!# his seein. of the (oster*is not# then# the ob4e-t# but rather the
-ause of the emotion# and the ex(lanation is essentiall! a -ausal one. 5he an.er is about bein. left
b! his .irlfriend# but the -ausal -hain leadin. u( to thinkin. about his .irlfriend need not be (art of the
an.er or its ob4e-t at all. 9,ndeed# it is (ossible that the (erson neer -ons-iousl! noti-es the (oster or
the se2uen-e of asso-iations that lead u( to his bein. an.r!= he noti-es onl! that he is suddenl!
thinkin. about his old .irlfriend and is an.r!.:
Sometimes# the -ausal ex(lanation and the intentional ex(lanation a((ear to be identi-al. 5his was
the awkwardness of ?ume@s anal!sis of (ride# in whi-h 8self8 o--urred both as the -ause and as the
ob4e-t of the emotion. Neertheless# the two ex(lanations ma! (la! er! different roles in our a--ount
of emotion. 5he -ausal histor! of an emotion and the intentional ex(lanation of the wa! the sub4e-t
sees the world throu.h a -ertain emotion will most -ertainl! oerla( and intera-t at man! (oints# but
neertheless# it is im(ortant to distin.uish between them. "s!-holo.ists# one mi.ht ar.ue# are
essentiall! interested in the -ausal ex(lanations of emotion= (henomenolo.ists are essentiall!
interested in the intentional a--ounts of emotion. "hiloso(hers# in .eneral# embra-e as(e-ts of both
(s!-holo.! and (henomenolo.! and are often torn between the two t!(es of a--ount= not
sur(risin.l!# the! hae lon. tried to inte.rate them into a unified form of ex(lanation.
/ third t!(e of ex(lanation is usuall! .ien less attention than the other two. Sometimes# the answer
to the 2uestion# 80h! is he so an.r!;8 ma! be neither a referen-e to a -ause nor a referen-e to the
ob4e-t of the emotion# but rather an answer in terms of a (erson@s motiation in hain. a -ertain
emotion. 83e-ause he finds that he alwa!s .ets his wa! when he .ets an.r!8 is an ex(lanation in
terms of the anti-i(ated 8(a!off8 of an emotion. 3! .ettin. an.r!# for instan-e# a (erson ma! find that
he or she feels extremel! self*ri.hteous# and that this is a (leasant or en4o!able feelin.. / (erson who
is 8in loe with loe8 ma! fall in loe in order to en4o! the (s!-holo.i-al benefits of that emotion# and
this ma! be a better answer to the 2uestion 80h!;8 than an! des-ri(tion of the -ause or the (erson
9-urrentl!: loed.
3.' The (ationality o) Emotions
,t is too often su..ested that emotions are essentiall! 8irrational#8 without attem(tin. to ex(lain what
this means. First of all# if emotions inole beliefs# it is -lear that the! are not non*rational# like a
sim(le heada-he or (ainful han.nail. 3e-ause the! are# in (art# 8-o.nitie8 and 8ealuatie8
(henomena# emotions (resu((ose rationalit! in the (s!-holo.i-al sense*the abilit! to use -on-e(ts
and hae reasons for what one does or feels. 0hether these reasons are good reasons# howeer# is
another matter.
5o sa! that emotions are irrational# in one sense# is to admit that the! are rational 9in the aboe
(s!-holo.i-al sense:# but also to den! that the! hae .ood reasons behind them. For instan-e# it
mi.ht be su..ested that emotions inole ealuations# but that these ealuations are almost alwa!s
mistaken and short*si.hted# and o--asionall! -orre-t onl! b! a--ident. 3ut this iew has little
(lausibilit!# .ien the (er-e(tieness of man! emotions. ,ndeed# one -ould ar.ue mu-h more stron.l!#
as does ?ume# that we would hae no alues if it were not for our emotions 9althou.h ?ume
-onfused the issue b! further insistin. on a ri.id distin-tion between reason and (assions# su-h that
emotions were b! their er! nature 8irrational8:. "erha(s emotions are# b! their er! nature#
8sub4e-tie8 (henomena= and !et# as "as-al stated meta(hori-all!# 8the heart has its reasons8 too.
Our emotions are sometimes more insi.htful than the more deta-hed and im(ersonal deliberations of
reason. / s(ontaneous burst of an.er or affe-tion ma! be far more si.nifi-ant and faithful to our
needs and (rin-i(les than too*(rotra-ted internal debates and 8rationaliDations#8 whi-h .ie too mu-h
-reden-e to other (eo(le@s adi-e and to (rin-i(les we do not reall! beliee in. ,ndeed# it is
sometimes irrational to be deta-hed and im(ersonal# and it is here that the rationalit! of emotions is
most in eiden-e.
<motions as su-h are neither rational nor irrational. Some emotions are in-redibl! stu(id# others
insi.htful. 5he Ferman (hiloso(her NietDs-he su..ests that 8all (assions hae a (hase when the!
are merel! disastrous# when the! dra. down their i-tim with the wei.ht of stu(idit!#8 but he then .oes
on to ar.ue that this is no reason to re4e-t the (assions= it is rather a reason to edu-ate them.
3e-omin. an.r! at one@s boss oer a triflin. -omment ma! be stu(id in the extreme# but .ettin. an.r!
at a -ertain (oint in a (oliti-al meetin. ma! be a stroke of .enius. Fallin. in loe ma! be the smartest#
or the dumbest# thin. a (arti-ular (erson eer does# and fear in the (ro(er -ontext# /ristotle ar.ued in
his Ethics, ma! be far more rational and essential to -oura.e than mere foolhardiness# the absen-e of
a((ro(riate fear.
3.* Emotions and Ethics
3e-ause emotions -an be rational or irrational# intelli.ent or stu(id# foolish or insi.htful# their role in
ethi-s be-omes far more -om(lex and more -entral than a .reat man! (hiloso(hers and moralists
hae su..ested. On the one side# there is a lon. tradition of moral (hiloso(hers# ?ume most
famousl!# who 4uxta(osed reason and emotion and insisted that emotion# not reason# was the heart of
ethi-s 98reason is# and ou.ht to be# the slae of the (assions8:. On the other side# the (hiloso(her
,mmanuel Eant# for instan-e# ar.ued that moralit! was a stri-tl! rational endeaor and that the
emotions 9or what he more .enerall! -alled 8the in-linations8: were not essential to moralit!. 0hat
both (hiloso(hers hae tended to ne.le-t are those as(e-ts of emotions 9or at least# of some
emotions: that are themseles rational and hae thus undermined the (remise of the entire dis(ute.
5his a.e*old set of ethi-al theories has a.ain -ome into (rominen-e in re-ent (hiloso(h!. ,n <n.land
and /meri-a# a broad set of 8meta*ethi-al8 9literall!# 8about ethi-s8: iews hae been defended under
the .eneral title 8 non* -o.nitiism#8 on the basis that ethi-al 4ud.ments -ould not be 0no+n and -ould
not be said to be either true or false. / (owerful subset of su-h theories are the so*-alled 8emotiist8
theories of ethi-s# whi-h# as the er! name indi-ates# held that ethi-s are -laims of emotion rather
than -laims of belief. One well*known defender of the 8emotiist8 theor!# /. 1# /!er of Oxford
Uniersit!# insisted that -laims su-h as 8this is .ood8 reall! mean no more than 8?oora!L8 ,n /meri-a#
Charles Steenson similarl! -hallen.ed IM -enturies of moral (hiloso(h! b! distin.uishin. between
8attitude8 and 8belief#8 insistin. that ethi-al iews are stri-tl! a matter of the former# not the latter# thus
u(datin. ?ume# but without inokin. ?ume@s so(histi-ated theor! of emotions.
5he -onne-tion between emotions and ethi-s# des(ite these artifi-ial and sometimes destru-tie
distin-tions# has alwa!s been -lose. /ristotle# in his Ethics, insists that the 8.ood man8 should feel the
ri.ht emotions at the ri.ht times# and not feel the wron. ones. Seeral (rominent moral (hiloso(hers
in 3ritain in the ei.hteenth -entur!# who were sometimes -alled 8moral sentiment theorists#8 insisted
that moral motiation -ould onl! be understood in terms of -ertain -ru-ial emotions# in (arti-ular su-h
em(atheti- emotions as 8s!m(ath!8 and 8-om(assion.8 ,n their theories# we -ome to a((re-iate
another dimension of emotion# whi-h .oes be!ond the 2uestion 80hat is an emotion;8 and also
be!ond the arious attem(ts to understand and ex(lain emotions. 5his new 2uestion is the alue of
emotion# and the -om(aratie alues of arious emotions. 8Nothin. .reat has been done without
(assion8 is an a(horism that has been 2uoted b! doDens of thinkers# not onl! ?e.el and NietDs-he#
from whom we would ex(e-t su-h a statement# but also ,mmanuel Eant 9in his le-tures on histor!:.
/nd as for the alue of the arious emotions# the 3ible is filled with in4un-tions for and a.ainst the
emotions on an ethi-al basis. "ride# en!# and an.er are 8deadl!8 sins= faith# ho(e# and -harit! are
-ardinal irtues. 0e hae lon. been told to aoid su-h 8ne.atie8 emotions as hatred in faor of su-h
8(ositie8 emotions as loe. 3ut what does this distin-tion between 8(ositie8 and 8ne.atie8 emotions
mean; >oes it refer onl! to the fa-t that some emotions are hostile and others beni.n; Or is it the
health of the (erson who has them that is in 2uestion 9as S(inoDa ar.ued:; ?ow do we ealuate our
emotions; and ?ow do our emotions determine our ethi-al ealuations; 5hese 2uestions are -losel!
related# and the entire histor! of ethi-s shows that we -annot (roide a satisfa-tor! answer to one
without the other.
3.+ Emotions and Culture
<motions are often treated as matters of 8instin-t#8 as esti.es of a more (rimitie (ast# as as(e-ts of
our biolo.! as mu-h as of our (s!-holo.!# unlearned and unedu-atable. 3ut insofar as emotions
inole -on-e(ts and beliefs# the! ma! also be learned in a (arti-ular -ulture and# (erha(s# learned
somewhat differentl! in different -ultures. ,t has often been assumed# for exam(le# b! some ma4or
anthro(olo.ists 9BindDe!# $%M'= Bea-h# $%&$:# 6See# e...# Culture "heory1 Essays on the Social
'rigins of Mind, Self and Emotion, R. S-hweder# ed. 9Cambrid.e: Cambrid.e Uniersit! "ress#
$%&':.7 that emotions are essentiall! the same in all (eo(le# the world oer. 3ut# whether or not this is
true# it would seem that it is a matter to be intensiel! inesti.ated.
5here is some eiden-e that su..ests that emotions ma! be different in different -ultures.
/nthro(olo.ist 4ean B. 3ri..s# for instan-e# (ublished a book some !ears a.o entitled 2e!er in #nger,
in whi-h she ar.ued that -ertain <skimo tribes do not .et an.r!. ,t is not 4ust that the! do not ex(ress
an.er= the! do not feel an.r!# either. ,ndeed# the! do not een hae a word for an.er in their
o-abular! 9the -losest word to it# si.nifi-antl!# means 8-hildish8:. ,t has been noted that a .reat man!
-ultures do not share our obsession with romanti- loe and that su-h emotions as en!# 4ealous!# and
.rief obiousl! hae er! different fates in different -ultures. ?ow mu-h these are matters of
em(hasis or differen-es in ex(ression# how mu-h the! are matters# rather# of the -ir-umstan-es in
whi-h (eo(le feet this or that emotion*should be inesti.ated and debated. 3ut at least it is -lear that#
as we learn more about emotions and those as(e-ts of emotion that are more than (h!siolo.i-al#
su-h -ross*-ultural 2uestions will be-ome in-reasin.l! im(ortant# both for our understandin. of
emotions and 8human nature8 and our answerin. of the more (ressin. ethi-al 2uestions of our a.e.
3., Emotions and E%&ression
<arlier in this introdu-tion# we saw that the ex(ression of emotion in behaior has often been
-onsidered a (art of the essen-e of emotion. ,ndeed# the more radi-al behaiorists ha%& ar.ued that
an emotion ultimatel! is nothin. more than a (attern of behaior. 5his# howeer# leaes the exa-t
-onne-tion between an emotion and its ex(ression a matter of some -onfusion. ,f# for exam(le# an
emotion is nothin. other than a -ertain dis(osition to behae in -ertain -hara-teristi- wa!s# as Filbert
R!le ar.ued# then the -onne-tion between an emotion and its ex(ression is more one of definition
than of -ause and effe-t. ,ndeed# the su..estion that one mi.ht hae a -ertain emotion without the
a((ro(riate dis(ositions to behae be-omes non*sensi-al. On the other hand# it has alwa!s been a
(o(ular (lo! of s-ien-e fi-tion writers# and trael writers# too# to su..est that other (eo(le# under
other -ir-umstan-es# mi.ht ex(ress their emotions er! differentl!. <d.ar Ri-e 3urrou.hs# the -reator
of 5arDan# su..ested a (eo(le who -r! when the! are ha((! and lau.h when the! are an.r!. 95here
are# in fa-t# er! .ood exam(les of both of these in real life.: 3ut if we -an so easil! ima.ine emotions
without their usual ex(ression# then the lo.i-al link between emotion and ex(ression seems
weakened -onsiderabl!. "erha(s we -ould sa! that eer! emotion demands some ex(ression# and
that the dis(osition to 8i.orous a-tion#8 as 0illiam 1ames -alled it# is an intrinsi- (art of eer!
emotion. 3ut this weakens the behaioral thesis and -ertainl! tells us er! little about the differen-es
between emotions. Aoreoer# howeer attra-tie the idea of 8i.orous a-tion8 ma! be when the more
iolent emotions are -on-erned# it is hard to see how it is releant# mu-h less essential# to the -almer
emotions# su-h as deout faith or lon.*lastin. loe. Our (rimar! exam(le of emotional ex(ression
must not be the tenden-! to ki-k the -at in a fit of ra.e. 5he most meanin.ful ex(ression of an
emotion ma! well be nothin. more than a tellin. .lan-e or a -ertain s(rin. in one@s stride. 3ut then
a.ain# it ma! be that the whole of one@s behaior# and nothin. less# is the -ontext in whi-h emotions
are ex(ressed# rather than the a-tion or .esture.
One mi.ht -atalo. the more t!(i-al ex(ressions of emotion# and# workin. ba-kward# surmise# alon.
with >arwin# what (ur(ose su-h emotions and their ex(ression sered in the da!s before the! were
sub4e-ted to su-h ri.orous s-rutin! and so-ietal -ontrol. 9>arwin su..ests that our in-lination to
.nash our teeth when an.r! re(resents an earlier tenden-! to bite our enemies.: 3ut the more
(hiloso(hi-al 2uestion -on-erns the nature of ex(ression itself. ,n what sense does an a-tion or a
.esture 8ex(ress8 9literall!# 8for-e out8: an emotion; Sometimes# the -onne-tion between the desires
built into the emotion and the ex(ression in a-tion -ould not be -learer. For exam(le# if /ristotle is
ri.ht about an.er bein. the desire for en.ean-e# then it would be hard to 2uestion the
a((ro(riateness of (unitie a-tion# for instan-e# raisin. a fist or a sword# as an ex(ression of that
emotion. 3ut when the natural ex(ression is su(ressed * when we are an.r! with a su(erior or
someone stron.er than ourseles*that is when the nature of ex(ression be-omes (arti-ularl! diffi-ult
to understand. 0h! bother to ki-k a tree or bite one@s li(; 0hat do muttered -urses under the breath
do for us# and# takin. dire-t a-tion as our (aradi.m# wh! should su-h (ointless .estures -ount as
ex(ression at all; Not all ex(ression seres a (ur(ose# but neither is the ex(ression of emotion to be
-lassified sim(l! as 8non(ur(osie behaior.8 5he understandin. of emotional ex(ression thus is
-om(li-ated in 4ust the same wa! as the understandin. of emotion itself# and we should (robabl!
-on-lude that# to a -ertain extent# the! are one and the same.
3.- Emotions and (es&onsi!ility
,nsofar as our emotions are (h!siolo.i-al rea-tions# or the moement of what >es-artes -alled
8animal s(irits#8 our (assions do indeed render us 8(assie.8 5he! ha((en to us= we 8suffer8 them 9the
meanin. of the word (assion in the 8"assion of Christ8:. 3ut if our emotions hae other -om(onents#
su-h as beliefs and wa!s of behain.# it is not so -lear that we are*as the sa!in. .oes*the 8i-tims8 of
our emotions. 0e are# to a -ertain extent# res(onsible for our beliefs# and we -an -ontrol our
behaior# een our en.rained habits# if onl! with some effort.
/ lar.e (art of our literature is filled with tales about (eo(le who are 8-a(tie8 of their emotions# and
some of our most (o(ular meta(hors make emotions sound as if the! do indeed 8ha((en8 to us. 0e
are 8stru-k8 b! 4ealous!# 8(aral!Ded8 b! .uilt# and 8sur(rised8 b! loe. 0e use our emotions as
ex-uses# as in 8, -ouldn@t hel( it= , was so an.r! at th& time8 or 8>on@t blame him# he@s in loe.8 3ut
there are -onsiderations that (oint to a er! different iew of our abilit! to -ontrol our emotions. First#
of -ourse# there are an! number of wa!s of -ontrollin. the ex(ression or the -ir-umstan-es of our
emotions# the first b! refusin. to allow ourseles -ertain a-tions# the se-ond b! sta!in. awa! from
those situations in whi-h we know that -ertain emotional rea-tions are likel! to o--ur. 3ut althou.h
-ontrol of the ex(ression is not !et -ontrol of the emotion# 0illiam 1ames (ointed out that a-tin. as if
one has 9or does not hae: a -ertain emotion ma! well be instrumental in alterin. the emotion itself.
3! refusin. to -r!# he su..ests# a woman ma! also kee( herself from be-omin. sad. ,n su-h
-ir-umstan-es# we are not so mu-h the i-tims of our emotions as we are the authors of them.
Sometimes# we find ourseles a-tiel! -reatin. an emotion for ourseles# 8workin. ourseles u(8 into
a ra.e or settin. ourseles u( for disa((ointment. / (erson who 8falls in loe8 ma! well hae been
(re(arin. for the alle.ed 8fall8 for !ears# and# een in the throes of infatuation# it is an o(en 2uestion
how mu-h a (erson is the 8-a(tie8 of his or her emotion and how mu-h the obsession is willfull!
maintained# and een (rote-ted a.ainst distra-tion or interferen-e b! an! number of oluntar! means.
,nsofar as our emotions inole beliefs# and insofar as we are in some sense res(onsible for what we
beliee# we are also res(onsible for our emotions. / student with false beliefs# in a sub4e-t in whi-h he
or she is ex(e-ted to be thorou.hl! (re(ared# is not ex-used b! i.noran-e. / bi.ot is not
una--ountable for his or her beliefs# een if he or she has been brou.ht u( in an enironment in
whi-h su-h beliefs were -ommon. ,nsofar as an.er inoles a sense of in4usti-e# that sense of
in4usti-e is sub4e-t to all the rational -onstraints and res(onsibilities of an! more refle-tie moral
-laim. ,nsofar as 4ealous! inoles some -laim about 8ri.hts8 to another (erson# 4ealous! is sub4e-t to
the reasons releant to su-h beliefs. /nd insofar as loe is a 4ud.ment of the 8beaut!8 of another
(erson# as "lato -laimed so dramati-all! in his S!m(osium# that# too# is a iew for whi-h a (erson
must be held res(onsible# althou.h# in this -ase# we are usuall! willin. to -on-ede the (oint without
mu-h ar.ument.
3ein. res(onsible for our emotions to some extent is not the same as be ,n. able to -ontrol them# but
it is -lear that the two sets of -onsiderations belon. to.ether and that at least some de.ree of -ontrol
is (resumed in assi.nin. res(onsibilit!. 5his does not mean that a (erson must be able to -han.e his
or her emotions 8at will8 9althou.h it is (ossible to do this to a .reater extent than we think:. ,t does
mean that the extent to whi-h our emotions are oluntar! and -orri.ible# and the extents to whi-h the
arious emotions are oluntar! and -orri.ible# should be seriousl! inesti.ated and anal!Ded and that
emotion should not be dismissed as mere (assiit!# whi-h (roides us with so man! -onenient
3.1. Emotions and /no0ledge
/mon. the arious wa!s we hae of -ontrollin. or eli-itin. our emotions 9takin. dru.s# aoidin. or
lookin. for -ertain situations:# b! far the most (hiloso(hi-al# and sometimes the most effe-tie# is
selfunderstandin.. / further knowled.e of ourseles and our emotions ma! be the first ste( to
-han.in. our emotions# and .ainin. a new fa-t or two ma! be a sure wa! of .ettin. rid of# or addin.#
an emotion. ,n the sim(lest (ossible -ase# findin. out that the belief u(on whi-h one@s emotion is
based is false immediatel! -han.es the emotion. For instan-e# 1oe is an.r! at ?arr! for stealin. his
-ar= then he finds that ?arr! did not# in fa-t# steal the -ar so he is no lon.er an.r!# sin-e there is no
lon.er an!thin. to be an.r! 8about.8 ,f beliefs are essential -om(onents of emotion# then a -han.e in
the belief will t!(i-all! 9althou.h not alwa!s: alter the emotion# and knowled.e must be -onsidered as
-ontributin. to# not o((osin.# our emotions. Of -ourse# there are irrational emotions# based u(on
demonstrabl! false beliefs. /nd it is also true that# een with a radi-al -han.e in knowled.e# the
emotion ma! still remain. 9For exam(le# 1oe ma! find out that ?arr! did not steal his -ar# but he is still
furious with ?arr! for makin. him think that he had stolen the -ar.: 3ut een if -han.in. beliefs does
not alwa!s -han.e an emotion# knowled.e is neertheless a -riti-al determinant of emotion# and often
the test of its rationalit! as well.
5he beliefs that are essential to our emotions# howeer# are not alwa!s so readil! a((arent or so
easil! -han.ed. <motion and selfunderstandin. are often more -om(lexl! related than our sim(le
exam(le aboe would su..est= in -lini-al (s!-holo.!# the! are een more -om(lex. 0hat one thinks
is the ob4e-t of an emotion 91oe@s an.er at ?arr! for stealin. the -ar# for exam(le: is not alwa!s the
real ob4e-t of emotion# whi-h one mi.ht not want to admit to oneself 9in our exam(le# the fa-t that
?arr! had 4ust made a fool of 1oe:. Aoreoer# sometimes the set of beliefs# and thus the nature of
emotion# is not re-o.niDed. 5hus# resentment# a (arti-ularl! de.radin. emotion# often .ets inter(reted
as hatred or an.er= romanti- loe# a notoriousl! dan.erous emotion# fre2uentl! a((ears in life as well
as in fi-tion under the .uise of an! number of other# een o((osed emotions 9notabl!# hatred:. ,n
either -ase# whether it is the ob4e-t of the emotion or the emotion itself that is not known# we mi.ht
sa!# followin. Freud# that the emotion is 8un-ons-ious.8 Nothin. (arti-ularl! m!sterious is thus
asserted about the nature of the mind= it is onl! to sa! that# be-ause of the -om(lexit! of the beliefs
that -onstitute our emotions# and be-ause of our own not infre2uent interest in beliein. what we
would like to beliee about ourseles instead of what is true or more (lausible# we do not alwa!s
re-o.niDe our emotions for what the! are# and we are not alwa!s willin. 9nor is it alwa!s reasonable:
to -onsider the beliefs that make them u( in the deta-hed and im(ersonal wa! that usuall! (asses for
Neertheless# self*knowled.e makes -han.in. our emotions (ossible. 80here there is id# let e.o be#8
said Freud= the more we know about ourseles# the more we -an -ontrol our emotions. 5his is# of
-ourse# the most (ra-ti-al reason for stud!in. emotions# whether on an indiidual and (ersonal basis
in ourseles or on a more abstra-t leel# su-h as the attem(ts to answer the 2uestion 80hat is an
emotion;8 -olle-ted in this olume. ,ndeed# -omin. to re-o.niDe the true nature of emotions ma! hel(
us -han.e our emotions. Su((ose that , -ome to realiDe that , am an.r! not be-ause , hae been
wron.ed# but rather be-ause , am des(eratel! tr!in. to defend m!self in a (e-uliarl! embarrassin.
(osition. Or su((ose that , -ome to re-o.niDe that , am 4ealous not be-ause , a-tuall! loe so*and*so#
but rather be-ause , am resentful that an!one should take awa! somethin. that 8belon.s8 to me. 0ith
su-h a sim(le self*understandin.# m! 4ealous! disa((ears. ,ndeed# so (owerful is this abilit! of
selfunderstandin. to -han.e our emotions that Freud# earl! in his -areer# -ame to beliee in 8the
talkin. -ure#8 in whi-h sim(l! -omin. to understand our emotions# 8brin.in. them to -ons-iousness#8
would be suffi-ient to 8defuse8 them and to .ie us -ontrol oer them.
Freud@s rationalist o(timism was in error= man! emotions (roed to be far too intra-table to be easil!
sus-e(tible to 8the talkin. -ure.8 Furthermore# Freud# in his em(hasis on eliminatin. harmful irrational
emotions# failed to (a! as mu-h attention to the emotions that are (ositie and rational. ,n a -ase of
ri.hteous an.er# for instan-e# the more self*understandin. one .ains*in-ludin. an understandin. of
how dee(l! one has been offended*the more an.r! one be-omes. Similarl!# the more a loer dwells
on and -omes to understand the irtues of his or her loed one# the more loe .rows 9a (ro-ess the
Fren-h noelist Stendhal -reatiel! identified as 8-r!stalliDation#8 the multi(li-ation of a loer@s irtues
the more one -omes to see:.
Enowled.e and self*understandin. hel( to -ontrol or to eli-it our emotions# but we also .ain
knowled.e and self*understandin. throu.h our emotions. /lthou.h it is often said that emotions are
8blind#8 the fa-t is that# throu.h our emotions# we often (er-eie -ertain details and situations
9(ertainin. to the emotion: far more shar(l! and insi.htfull! than we would otherwise. 0e -an often
learn far more about our alues and morals b! (a!in. attention to our emotions than b! listenin. to
the more abstra-t deliberations of 8 (ra-ti-al reason#8 and moral theorists# of whom ?ume is (erha(s
the most re(resentatie# are ri.ht# at least in (art# when the! insist that we 8know8 what is ri.ht and
wron. from our 8sentiments8 rather than from ar.uments. 0ithout emotion# there would be no alues#
rather onl! rules and methods without ins(iration. ,t is emotion# not refle-tion# that most endows the
world with meanin..
<motion and knowled.e are far more (ersonal than the traditional em(hasis on reason and
understandin. *as o((osed to the (assions*would su..est. ,ndeed# some emotions# for exam(le#
s-ientifi- -uriosit! and a loe of the truth# are essential to the adan-ement of knowled.e. For too
lon. we hae em(hasiDed the im(ersonal demands of knowled.e instead of the (assion to know# and
both knowled.e and (assion hae suffered. So# too# mu-h of the im(etus behind the new wae of
interest in emotions is the desire to learn how to eli-it those mu-h alued emotions that hae too lon.
been left to the random -ontin.en-ies of -hildhood*not onl! -uriosit! and the (assion for truth# but
also the (assion for 4usti-e and -om(assion# life*lon. loe# and een# at the ri.ht times and to a
de.ree# ri.hteous indi.nation. 5hese are not momentar! intrusions in our lies# but their er! -ore#
and the sour-e of our ideals. On-e we be.in thinkin. of emotions in this wa!# as well as throu.h the
more traditional -on-ern for those emotions that seem to be a form of madness or an irrational
obsession# the im(ortan-e of stud!in. the emotions should be-ome all the more a((arent# not 4ust as
an intelle-tual -uriosit!# but also as a (ra-ti-al and (ersonal ne-essit!. 85he unexamined life is not
worth liin.#8 said So-rates. 5hat is the s(irit of this -olle-tion of essa!s# as we re-o.niDe that
emotions# thou.h often ne.le-ted in (hiloso(h!# hae alwa!s been essential to life.