The trouble with ambivalent emotions

Philosophy 85 (4):485-510 (2010)
Mixed or ambivalent emotions have long intrigued philosophers. I dissect various putative cases of emotional ambivalence and conclude that the alleged 'psychological problem' surrounding them admits of a solution. That problem has, however, often been conflated with 'moral problem' - of how one should react morally to such ambivalence — which remains active even after the psychological one has been solved. I discuss how the moral problem hits hardest at virtue ethics, old and new. I distinguish between particularist and generalist (Aristotelian) virtue ethics, and pay special attention to the latter. After discussing critically previous attempts at an Aristotelian solution of the 'moral problem' by McDowell, Stark and Carr, I pay special attention to the role of phronesis as a second-order meta-emotion and mediator, and consider how that may offer a way out of the impasse. I finally present some concluding remarks about the idea of a constructive dividedness of mind
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819110000434
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Carr (2015). Is Gratitude a Moral Virtue? Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1475-1484.
Olivier Massin (2014). Pleasure and Its Contraries. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):15-40.
Logi Gunnarsson (2014). In Defense of Ambivalence and Alienation. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):13-26.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Christoph Jäger & Anne Bartsch (2006). Meta-Emotions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):179-204.
Christine Tappolet (2009). Ambivalent Emotions. In David Sander & Klaus R. Scherer (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences. Oxford University Press 27.
Kristján Kristjánsson (2008). Expendable Emotions. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):5-22.
Kristján Kristjánsson (2005). Justice and Desert-Based Emotions. Philosophical Explorations 8 (1):53 – 68.
Kristján Kristjánsson (2003). On the Very Idea of "Negative Emotions". Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 33 (4):351–364.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

47 ( #71,490 of 1,725,466 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,753 of 1,725,466 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.