Rationality and the emotions

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):241-251 (2004)
There are some seemingly clear cases of the use of the concepts of rationality and irrationality in talk about the emotions. Even in such contexts, it is argued here, while not entirely wrong-headed, the use is much less clearly appropriate, upon reflection, than many of us seem to believe. The paper starts with a conception of the emotions which emphasizes the way we construe the world (or some aspect of the world) while we experience them and because of what it is to experience them. According to this approach, an emotion’s appropriateness is simply a function of the features of the relevant part of the world actually being in the way specified by a proper analysis of that emotion. It is then argued that this analysis is not favorable to using the concept of rationality in the sorts of cases that interest us
Keywords Emotion  Epistemology  Experience  Irrationality  Rationality
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DOI croatjphil20044217
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