The rationality of mood

In Julien A. Deonna, Christine Tappolet & Fabrice Teroni (eds.), A Tribute to Ronald de Sousa (2022)
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In this article, I argue that at least some moods are affective episodes whose main difference from emotions is that their intentional objects, qua intentional objects, are not consciously available. I defend this claim by exposing an experiment where affective responses – moods, I maintain – are elicited by subliminal pictures (§2). I then show how everyday kinds of moods can also be plausibly interpreted as emotion-like affects whose intentional object is not conscious (§3). In the final section (§4), I borrow the six criteria for rationality that de Sousa proposed in The rationality of emotion and show how they can be used to argue that, if we conceive of moods as such, then they too can be rational.

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Constant Bonard
Institut Jean Nicod


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