The Irreducibility of Emotional Phenomenology

Erkenntnis 85 (2020)
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Emotion theory includes attempts to reduce or assimilate emotions to states such as bodily feelings, beliefs-desire combinations, and evaluative judgements. Resistance to such approaches is motivated by the claim that emotions possess a sui generis phenomenology. Uriah Kriegel defends a new form of emotion reductivism which avoids positing irreducible emotional phenomenology by specifying emotions’ phenomenal character in terms of a combination of other phenomenologies. This article argues Kriegel’s approach, and similar proposals, are unsuccessful, since typical emotional experiences are constituted by sui generis feelings towards value.

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Jonathan Mitchell
Cardiff University


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