David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 27 (4):489–497 (1997)
Sabini and Silver argue that there are no emotions. They are not just arguing, what I take to be true, that emotions do not constitute a proper class or that an emotion is not a “thing” or entity. They are – or seem to be – advocating serious reductionism, perhaps even an “eliminitivism” in which all talk of emotions should be replaced by talk about desire and belief. I argue that emotions constitute a rich and subtle field of complex phenomena which are by no means reducible to the crude, artificial and grossly inadequate ontology of “beliefs and desires”. Emotions are real enough. Happily, Sabini and Silver believe this too. They don’t really mean what they say
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