Emotions and the Canons of Evaluation

Robert C. Roberts

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235018
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Emotions and the Canons of Evaluation

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Sentimentalism needs something like the construal view of emotions. The construal view ascribes to emotions just the right kind of “cognitivity”—at the minimal end of the continuum, “propositional” content in an attenuated sense, but nevertheless in a sense that allows, in its defining propositions methodology, for greater analytical precision than the formal property methodology allows; and at the maximal end of the continuum, explicit propositional involvement in the structure of emotions. Thus the construal view makes more promising the sentimentalist project of deriving explicit rational norms from “basic” (non-rational) emotions. Nevertheless, the project seems to be without hope of realization, because emotions that are rich enough in normative content to yield the kind of norms that sentimentalism intends to explain already presuppose the norms; and ones that do not contain the norms are too poor in normative content to yield norms.

Keywords: propositions methodology; norms; emotions; sentimentalism; cognitivity; construal view; normative content

Article.  11333 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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