In what sense are emotions evaluations?

In Sabine Roeser & Cain Samuel Todd (eds.), Emotion and Value. Oxford University Press UK. pp. 15-31 (2014)
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In this chapter, we first introduce the idea that emotions are evaluations. Next, we explore two approaches attempting to account for this idea in terms of attitudes that are alleged to become emotional when taking evaluative contents. According to the first approach, emotions are evaluative judgments. According to the second, emotions are perceptual experiences of evaluative properties. We explain why this theory remains unsatisfactory insofar as it shares with the evaluative judgement theory the idea that emotions are evaluations in virtue of their contents. We then outline an alternative � the attitudinal theory of emotions. It parts with current theorizing about the emotions in elucidating the fact that emotions are evaluations not in terms of what they represent, but in terms of the attitude subjects take towards what they represent. We explore what sorts of attitudes emotions are and claim that they are felt bodily attitudes.

Author Profiles

Fabrice Teroni
University of Geneva
Julien Deonna
University of Geneva


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