Two Irreducible Classes of Emotional Experiences: Affective Imaginings and Affective Perceptions

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A view of prominence in the philosophy of emotion is that emotional experiences are not self-standing intentional experiences. Instead, they inherit the intentional content they have from their cognitive bases. One implication is that emotions whose intentional contents differ in terms of the modal and temporal properties of the relevant particular object – because the intentional contents on which they are based differ in these respects – nonetheless need not differ qua emotion-type. This leads to the same-emotional attitude, different content claim: It is possible to have the same emotional attitude towards a range of (different) contents, as provided by different cognitive bases. This paper argues that this claim is mistaken. By appealing to the specific case of imagination, the same emotional-attitude, different content claim is challenged. Drawing on phenomenological observations made by Jean-Paul Sartre, supplemented with independently plausible considerations, I argue we should recognise a distinct class of emotion-types, which I call affective imaginings. Affective imaginings contrast with emotional experiences whose cognitive bases are sense-perceptual experiences (affective perceptions). The contrast turns on the way the different contents across these cases modifies the attitudinal character of the emotional experience, motivating the positing of two irreducible classes of emotional experiences
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Archival date: 2021-02-26
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