Why Are You Proud of That? Cognitivism About "Possessive" Emotions

Southwest Philosophy Review 36 (2):87-104 (2020)
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Cognitivism about the emotions is the view that emotions involve judgments (or quasi-judgmental cognitive states) that we could, in principle, articulate without reference to the emotions themselves. D’Arms and Jacobson (2003) argue that no such articulation is available in the case of “possessive” emotions, such as pride and guilt, and, so, cognitivism (in regard to such emotions, at least) is false. This article proposes and defends a cognitivist account of our partiality to the objects of our pride. I argue that taking pride in something requires judging that your relation to that thing indicates that your life accords with some of your personal ideals. This cognitivist account eschews glossing pride in terms of one’s “possession” of what one is proud of and, so, escapes D’Arms and Jacobson’s critique. I motivate this account by critically assessing the most sophisticated possession-based account of pride in the literature, found in Gabriele Taylor (1985).
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