Emotions Inside Out: The Content of Emotions

In Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion: New Essays. New York: (forthcoming)
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Most of those who hold that emotions involve appraisals also accept that the content of emotions is nonconceptual. The main motivation for nonconceptulism regarding emotions is that it accounts for the difference between emotions and evaluative judgements. This paper argues that if one assumes a broadly Fregean account of concepts, there are good reasons to accept that emotions have nonconceptual contents. All the main arguments for nonconceptualism regarding sensory perception easily transpose to the case of emotions. The paper ends by responding to two important objections: firstly, that nonconceptualism rules out the possibility that emotions justify evaluative judgements and secondly, that nonconceptualism cannot account for the fact that some emotions have conceptually articulated cognitive bases.

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Christine Tappolet
Université de Montréal


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