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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# $%&'. ((. )*'+


,ntrodu-tion
Cheshire Calhoun and Robert C. Solomon
1 "WHAT IS AN EMOTION?"
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
introdu-ed.
2 FIVE MODELS OF EMOTION
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
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-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!
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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
4
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
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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:.
6
>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
7
is mad at us. 0e know. 5he emotion# and not merel! its ex(ression# seems to be a (ubli-
(henomenon.
,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
8
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!
9
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!:.
10
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!
11
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 TEN PROBLEMS IN THE ANALYSIS OF EMOTION
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
12
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
13
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
14
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
emotion.
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
15
(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.
16
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
17
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
18
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.
19
,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
ex-uses.
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
20
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
8rationalit!.8
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
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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.

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