David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):729-768 (2010)
Philosophical cognitivists have argued for more than four decades that emotions are special types of judgments. Anti-cognitivists have provided a series of counterexamples aiming to show that identifying emotions with judgments overintellectualizes the emotions. I provide a novel counterexample that makes the overintellectualization charge especially vivid. I discuss neurophysiological evidence to the effect that the fear system can be activated by stimuli the subject is unaware of seeing. To emphasize the analogy with blind sight , I call this phenomenon blind fright . Cognitivists may reply that blindfright is nothing but an unconscious judgment subcortically elicited. This reply is in line with the strategy commonly employed by cognitivists against their critics. I call it the Elastic Strategy, because it consists of ‘stretching’ the notion of judgment in order to accommodate counterexamples. This strategy, I argue, turns cognitivism into a theory that is at worst unfalsifiable and at best trivially true. The final portion of my article aims to rescue cognitivism from the damage done by the Elastic Strategy. I distinguish three varieties of cognitivism, one concerned with what emotions essentially are (Constitutive Cognitivism), one concerned with what causes emotions (Etiological Cognitivism) and one concerned with what emotions represent (Representational Cognitivism). I conclude that what cognitivism has to offer to emotion theory are primarily insights concerning the causes and representational content of emotions. The constitutive identification of emotions with judgments, on the other hand, does more harm than good
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Richard Heck (2000). Nonconceptual Content and the "Space of Reasons". Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.
Sean D. Kelly (2001). Demonstrative Concepts and Experience. Philosophical Review 110 (3):397-420.
Anthony J. Marcel (1983). Conscious and Unconscious Perception: An Approach to the Relations Between Phenomenal Experience and Perceptual Processes. Cognitive Psychology 15:238-300.
Petra Stoerig & Alan Cowey (1997). Blindsight in Man and Monkey. Brain 120:535-59.
Charles Starkey (2007). Manipulating Emotion: The Best Evidence for Non-Cognitivism in the Light of Proper Function. Analysis 67 (295):230–237.
Citations of this work BETA
Shannon Spaulding (2013). Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition. Mind and Language 28 (2):233-257.
J. Adam Carter, Emma C. Gordon & S. Orestis Palermos (2015). Extended Emotion. Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):198-217.
Bill Wringe (2014). The Contents of Perception and the Contents of Emotion. Noûs 48 (1):275-297.
Agnes Moors (2009). Theories of Emotion Causation: A Review. Cognition and Emotion 23 (4):625-662.
Andrea Scarantino & Michael Nielsen (2015). Voodoo Dolls and Angry Lions: How Emotions Explain Arational Actions. Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2975-2998.
Similar books and articles
John-Michael Kuczynski (2004). Two Arguments Against the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 11 (2):65-72.
Peter Goldie (2004). Emotion, Feeling, and Knowledge of the World. In Robert C. Solomon (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press
Lilli K. Alanen (2003). What Are Emotions About? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):311-354.
Jason Brennan (2008). What If Kant Had Had a Cognitive Theory of the Emotions? In Valerio Hrsg v. Rohden, Ricardo Terra & Guido Almeida (eds.), Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants. Walter de Gruyter 1--219.
John Deigh (1994). Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions. Ethics 104 (4):824-54.
Hagit Benbaji (2013). How is Recalcitrant Emotion Possible? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):577-599.
Joe Lau, The Nature of Emotions Comments on Martha Nussbaum's Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions.
Irwin Goldstein (2002). Are Emotions Feelings? A Further Look at Hedonic Theories of Emotions. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (1):21-33.
Demian Whiting (2011). The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
Stanley G. Clarke (1986). Emotions: Rationality Without Cognitivism. Dialogue 25 (4):663-674.
Antony Aumann (2014). Emotion, Cognition, and the Value of Literature: The Case of Nietzsche's Genealogy. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 45 (2):182-195.
James Harold (2012). Cognitivism, Non-Cognitivism, and Skepticism About Folk Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 25 (2):165 - 185.
Christoph Jäger & Anne Bartsch (2006). Meta-Emotions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):179-204.
Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson (2009). Expressivism and Moral Certitude. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):202-215.
Mark Devon (2006). The Origin of Emotions. Booksurge.
Added to index2010-11-25
Total downloads83 ( #49,170 of 1,793,159 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #169,309 of 1,793,159 )
How can I increase my downloads?