Chapter

THE EMOTIVE GENESIS OF DESERT

Ingmar Persson

in The Retreat of Reason

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276905
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603198 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199276900.003.0037
 							THE EMOTIVE GENESIS OF DESERT

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This chapter argues that the concept of desert evolves out of agent-oriented and comparative emotions. In chapter 6, it was seen that the agent-oriented emotion of anger is directed at what is taken as an epistemically ultimate cause of harm to oneself or someone closely related to oneself, i.e., as a cause about whose causal origin no belief is entertained. In comparison to the rival hypothesis that anger is directed at what is taken to be a conscious cause of harm, this hypothesis has the merit of providing a more plausible explanation of why people get angry with inanimate objects and of how simple-minded animals can feel anger. The chapter ends by suggesting that this hypothesis captures not only how we conceive of those to which we attribute desert, but also those to which we attribute rights to things they have acquired.

Keywords: agent-oriented emotions; anger; comparative emotions; desert; rights; ultimate cause

Chapter.  4525 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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