February 23, 2022

Emotions and Their Correctness Conditions: A Defense of Attitudinalism

Abstract

In this paper, we contrast the different ways in which the representationalist and the attitudinalist in the theory of emotions account for the fact that emotions have evaluative correctness conditions. We argue that the attitudinalist has the resources to defend her view against recent attacks from the representationalist. To this end, we elaborate on the idea that emotional attitudes have a rich profile and explain how it supports the claim that these attitudes generate the wished-for evaluative correctness conditions. Our argument rests on the idea that emotional attitudes manifest a sensitivity to evaluative evidence and that this sensitivity secures the kind of normativity we expect of the emotions. We bring our discussion to a close by assessing whether the psychological underpinnings of this sensitivity to evaluative evidence are such as to threaten the foundation of attitudinalism: the idea that emotions do not represent values. Given the available models of how we might access values prior to emotional experience, we conclude that the attitudinalist is still in the game.

February 23, 2022 at 08:12PM

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