Emotion as High-level Perception

Synthese 199 (3-4):7181-7201 (2021)
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According to the perceptual theory of emotions, emotions are perceptions of evaluative properties. The account has recently faced a barrage of criticism recently by critics who point out varies disanalogies between emotion and paradigmatic perceptual experiences. What many theorists fail to note however, is that many of the disanalogies that have been raised to exclude emotions from being perceptual states that represent evaluative properties have also been used to exclude high-level properties from appearing in the content of perception. This suggests that emotions are perceptions of high level properties and perceptual theorists can marshal the arguments used by proponents of high-level perception to defend the perceptual theory. This paper therefore defends an account of emotion as high-level perception.

Author's Profile

Brandon Yip
Australian National University


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