1. Bd. Die Relativitätstheorie fällt : physikalische, philosophische, wissenschaftssoziologische und allgemeinverständliche Korrektur : hundert Jahre Kultus des Irrtums sind genug -- 3. Bd. Die Urknalltheorie fällt.
This article focuses primarily on the emotion of guilt as providing a justification for retributive legal punishment. In particular, I challenge the claim according to which guilt can function as part of our epistemic justification of positive retributivism, that is, the view that wrongdoing is both necessary and sufficient to justify punishment. I show that the argument to this conclusion rests on two premises: (1) to feel guilty typically involves the judgment that one deserves punishment; and (2) those who feel (...) guilty after wrongdoing are more virtuous (or less vicious) than those who do not. I shall argue that premise (1) is false on both empirical and conceptual grounds and that there are no particularly good grounds supporting this premise (2). Finally, I consider and reject the claim that anger, as opposed to guilt, can afford the type of epistemic justification needed by positive retributivism. (shrink)
In his famous text the Bodhicaryāvatāra, the 8th century Buddhist philosopher Śāntideva argues that anger towards people who harm us is never justified. The usual reading of this argument rests on drawing similarities between harms caused by persons and those caused by non-persons. After laying out my own interpretation of Śāntideva's reasoning, I offer some objections to Śāntideva's claim about the similar-ity between animate and inanimate causes of harm inspired by contemporary philosophical literature in the West. Following this, I (...) argue that by reading Śāntideva's argument as practical advice rather than as a philosophical claim about rational coherence, his argument can still have important in-sights even for those who reject his philosophical reasoning. (shrink)
Analyzing the ancient Greek point of view concerning anger, shame and justice and a very modern one, one can see, that anger has a regulative function, but shame does as well. Anger puts the other in his place, thereby regulating hierarchies. Shame regulates the social relations of recognition. And both emotions also have an evaluative function, because anger evaluates a situation with regard to a humiliation; shame, with regard to a misdemeanor. In addition, attention has to (...) be paid to the correct molding of these emotions and the correct ways of using them in rearing to be good or just (i.e., in personality formation. (shrink)
If asked to generate a list of virtues, most people would not include meekness. So it is surprising that Hume not only deems it a virtue, but one whose 'tendency to the good of society no one can doubt of.' After explaining what Hume and his contemporaries meant by "meekness", the paper proceeds to argue that meekness is a virtue we, too, should endorse.
The moral status of emotions has recently become the focus of various philosophical investigations. Certain emotions that have traditionally been considered as negative, such as envy, jealousy, pleasure-in-others'-misfortune, and pride, have been defended. Some traditionally "negative" emotions have even been declared to be moral emotions. In this brief paper, I suggest two basic criteria according to which an emotion might be considered moral, and I then examine whether envy, anger, and resentment are moral emotions.
Right after our tragedy, my idea of forgiveness was to be free of this thing, – the anger, the pain, the absorption. It was totally personal. It was a survival tactic to leave this experience behind. It had nothing to do with the offender. The second level was realizing how the word forgiveness applies to the relationship between the victim and the offender. How it means accepting and working on that relationship after a murder. The latter is more complicated. (...) Now I think I see that forgiveness is more of integrating the experience into my life in a controlled way, rather than letting it go or escaping it. (shrink)
Starting from the assumption that one can literally perceive someone's anger in their face, I argue that this would not be possible if what is perceived is a static facial signature of their anger. There is a product–process distinction in talk of facial expression, and I argue that one can see anger in someone's facial expression only if this is understood to be a process rather than a product.
To understand how children manage anger and engage in various forms of aggression, it is important to observe children responding to peer provocation. Observing children's anger and aggression poses serious ethical and practical challenges, especially with samples of older children and adolescents. This article describes 2 laboratory methods for observing children's responses to peer provocation: 1 involves participants playing a game with a provoking child actor, and the other involves a pair of close friends responding to an actor (...) posing as a difficult play partner. Both methods are described in detail, ethical safeguards are discussed, and evidence is presented to show that children understand their research rights in these types of investigations. (shrink)
: Most of us tend to be Aristotelians when it comes to anger. While admitting that uncontrolled anger is harmful and ought to be avoided, we reject as undesirable a state of being that would not allow us to express legitimate outrage. Hence, we seem to find a compelling moral attitude in Aristotle’s belief that we should get angry at the right time and for the right reasons and in the right way. Buddhism and Stoicism, however, carve out (...) a position on the issue of anger that stands in marked contrast to the Aristotelian conception. This article considers the similarities between these two views of anger, contrasts the Buddhist with the much more common (at least in the West) Aristotelian one, and, finally, considers the objections of a prominent Western scholar to this shared Buddhist/Stoic conception. (shrink)
This paper considers an allegation by M. Stocker and E. Hegeman that Aristotle’s account of anger yields a narcissistic passion bedevilled by illusions of self-sufficiency. The paper argues on behalf of Aristotle’s valuing of anger within a virtuous and flourishing life, showing that and why Aristotle’s account is neither narcissistic nor involves illusions of self-sufficiency. In so arguing a deeper appreciation of Aristotle’s understanding of a self-sufficient life is reached, as are some interesting contrasts between Aristotle's understanding of (...)anger, its connections to value and our own understanding of these matters. (shrink)
Although emotion may subserve social function, as with anger-maintaining dominance, emotions are more than variant cognitions. Anger promotes risk-taking, attention-narrowing, and cognitive impairment. The proposition that appraised “blameworthiness” is necessary for anger excludes young children's anger as well as adults' pain-induced anger. To be complete, any systems model of anger must account for its temporal characteristics, including escalation and persistence.
(to table of contents of archives) This talk was delivered at the Auburn Philosophical Society’s Roundtable on Hate, 5 October 2001, convened in response to the September 11 attacks a month earlier. The events of September 11th have occasioned a wide variety of responses, ranging from calls to turn the other cheek, to calls to nuke half the Middle East—and every imaginable shade of opinion in between. At a time when emotions run high, how should we go about deciding on (...) a morally appropriate response? Should we allow ourselves to be guided by our anger, or should we put our anger aside and make an unemotional decision? (shrink)
Ecologically valid procedures for eliciting and measuring children's anger are needed to enhance researchers' theories of children's emotional competence and to guide intervention efforts aimed at reactive aggression. The purpose of this article is to describe a laboratory-based game-playing procedure that has been used successfully to elicit and measure children's anger across observational, physiological, and self-report channels. Steps taken to ensure that participants are treated ethically and fairly are discussed. The article highlights recently published data that emphasize the (...) importance of provoking and assessing children's anger across multiple channels using laboratory-based procedures. Finally, it presents preliminary data that suggest that the safeguards taken to protect children were successful in making both children and their parents feel well treated and comfortable. (shrink)
This paper strengthens the theoretical ground of feminist analyses of anger by explaining how the angers of the oppressed are ways of knowing. Relying on insights created through the juxtaposition of Latina feminism and Zen Buddhism, I argue that these angers are special kinds of embodied perceptions that surface when there is a profound lack of fit between a particular bodily orientation and its framing world of sense. As openings to alternative sensibilities, these angers are transformative, liberatory, and deeply (...) epistemological. (shrink)
Higher order cognitive processes, including ethical decision making (EDM), are influenced by the experiencing of discrete emotions. Recent research highlights the negative influence one such emotion, anger, has on EDM and its underlying processes. The mechanism, however, by which anger disrupts the EDM has not been investigated. The current study sought to discover whether cognitive appraisals of an emotion-evoking event are the driving mechanisms behind the influence of anger on EDM. One primary (goal obstacle) and one secondary (...) (certainty) appraisal of anger were examined. Study results suggest that appraisals of certainty are the driving mechanism behind the negative relationship between anger and EDM. Certainty appraisals led to less application of EDM-promoting strategies and more unethical social motives. Findings further highlight the value of investigating appraisals of emotional events, given their cognitive nature, for their potential effects on cognitive operations, such as EDM. Future directions and implications are discussed. (shrink)
Is anger at another person ever a morally excellent thing? Two competing answers to this question can be found in the Christian intellectual tradition. JohnCassian held that anger at another person is never morally virtuous. Aquinas, taking an Aristotelian line, maintained that anger at another person is sometimes morally virtuous. In this paper I explore the positions of Cassian and Aquinas on this issue. The core of my paper consists in a close examination of two arguments given (...) by Aquinas in support of his view. The first involves the usefulness of anger in the moral life; the second focuses on the nature of the human being as a composite of soul and body. (shrink)
The article asks whether political anger has a legitimate place in a democracy, as this is a political system designed to resolve conflicts by peaceful negotiation. It distinguishes personal from social anger and political anger, to focus explicitly on the latter. It argues that both the feeling and expression of political anger are subject to normative constraints, often specific to social status and gender. The article examines arguments, including those of Seneca, in favour of an (...) class='Hi'>anger-free society. It concludes, however, that a democracy cannot dispense with political anger, which has a vital role to play in protecting things of value. This role demands a civic education such that when democratic values are under threat citizens will not feel apathetic or simply fearful, but angry and possessed of a repertoire of ways of expressing democratic anger. (shrink)
This paper explores the ways in which foster children and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) intersect as social and medical categories. Through the method of interpretive biography based on the official case file, this paper shows how the experiences of violence and ADHD become linked in the child's life through the emotion of anger. In this way, it is possible to see how the power dynamics of the medical, educational and welfare systems lock the diagnosis with its embedded meanings (...) into the child's life. It is also possible to see how counter forces like a caring foster family can challenge medical and welfare authorities. (shrink)
Aristotle figures significantly in the recent boom of literature on forgiveness, particularly accounts wishing to construe forgiveness as a virtue. While his definition of anger is often invoked, he is also a foil for accounts valuing forgiveness more than did Aristotle. I argue through interpretive exegesis of Aristotle’s texts that, while there are definite limits on forgiveness in his thought, so that his notion of forgiveness does not extend as far as in Christian ethics, it does play a significant (...) role in his ethics. Forgiveness is particularly connected with the emotion and dynamic of anger, and my paper examines Aristotle’s discussions of anger, hatred and righteous indignation, indicating how forgiveness fits into these. Finally, I express my suspicions of recent accounts attempting to construe forgiveness itself as a virtue, arguing it is traditionally and more adequately understood as governed by virtues, in particular mildness (praōtēs) as Aristotle articulates it. (shrink)
In this study, we assessed the influence of trait anger on decisions in risky situations evaluating how it might interact with some contextual factors. One hundred and fifty-eight participants completed the Trait Anger scale of STAXI-2 (T-Ang) and an inventory consisting of a battery of hypothetical everyday decision-making scenarios, representative of three specific domains: financial, social and health. Participants were also asked to evaluate familiarity and salience for each scenario. This study provides evidence for a relationship between individual (...) differences in the tendency to feel anger and risky decisions in different domains and for mediation effects of familiarity and salience perception. The evaluation of the mechanisms with which dispositional anger is linked to risky decision-making could further contribute to an understanding of the role of personality traits in decision-making processes. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the rationality of anger in the light of a standard notion of economic rationality. Whether anger is rational or otherwise cannot be answered in general, but will depend on the economic setting. As long as anger can be explained as a preference in a parsimonious and stable utility function, it does not make sense to talk of anger as rational or irrational. The production of anger is subtly mediated by many cognitive factors. (...) These (and the anger?induced cognitive effects and intertemporal inconsistency of preferences) underlie what are the genuine problems that anger creates for rational choice. (shrink)
The article advocates the importance of studying conceptual meaning and change in modern mass media and highlights the significance of conceptual intermediality. The article first analyzes anger in Hindi cinema as an audiovisual key concept within the framework of an Indian national ideology. It explores how anger and the Indian angry young man became popularized, politicized, and stereotyped by popular films and print media in India in the 1970s and 1980s. The article goes on to advocate for extending (...) conceptual history beyond language on theoretical grounds and identifies two major obstacles in political iconography: the methodological subordination of visuals to language in the negotiation of meaning, and the distinction of emotion and reason by assigning them functionally to different sign systems. (shrink)
Anger, Gratitude, and the Enlightenment Writer examines how writers as diverse as Rousseau, Diderot, Marivaux, and Challe discuss the social appropriateness of anger and gratitude in regulating social life. Emotions are social transactions, with rules identifying when and where it is appropriate to express one's feelings and, especially in the case of anger and gratitude, who is allowed or expected to put them on display. Defining the kinds of slight or favor that demand an angry or a (...) grateful response became problematic in eighteenth-century France under the pressure of two contradictory developments which were both crucial to Enlightenment thinking about sociability. The first drew on the ideal of moral equality as it spread beyond the salons to the social world at large. Writers claimed for themselves an entitlement to anger at personal slight that had been hitherto reserved for aristocrats, and a respectful hearing for their indignation at public injustice despite their lack of official standing. The philosophes also argued their writing made them social benefactors in their own right, more deserving of their readers' gratitude than obliged to any patron. The second gave a new twist to longstanding philosophical notions about transcending emotional disturbance and dependence altogether. A personal ideal became a public goal as Enlightenment thinkers imagined a society where all significant social interaction was governed by the impersonal rule of law. Occasions for personal slight or obligation would disappear, and with them reasons for anger and gratitude. Instead of serving as a model of emotional legitimacy, authors would derive their prestige from their rationality and objectivity. By exploring the interplay between these two attitudes toward anger and gratitude this book provides a fresh perspective on the French Enlightenment. (shrink)
Abstract: Some propose that the question of how you know that James is angry can be adequately answered with the claim that you see that James is angry. Call this the Perceptual Hypothesis. Here, I examine that hypothesis. I argue that there are two different ways in which the Perceptual Hypothesis could be made true. You might see that James is angry by seeing his bodily features. Alternatively, you might see that James is angry by seeing his anger. If (...) you see that James is angry in the first way, your knowledge is inferential. If you see that James is angry in the second way, your knowledge is not inferential. These are different ways of knowing that James is angry. So the Perceptual Hypothesis alone does not adequately answer the question of how you know that fact. To ascertain how you know it, we need to decide whether or not you saw his anger. This is an epistemological argument. But it has consequences for a theory of perception. It implies that there is a determinate fact about which features of an object you see. This fact is made true independently of what you come to know by seeing. In the final section of the paper, I seek to undermine various ways in which the claim that you see James' anger may be thought implausible. (shrink)
In her (1996) Kadri Vihvelin argues that autoinfanticide is nomologically impossible and so that there is no sense in which time travelers are able to commit it. In response, Theodore Sider (2002) defends the original Lewisian verdict (Lewis 1976) whereby, on a common understanding of ability, time travelers are able to kill their earlier selves and their failure to do so is merely coincidental. This paper constitutes a critical note on arguments put forward by both Sider and Vihvelin. I argue (...) that although Sider’s criticism starts out promisingly he doesn’t succeed in establishing that Vihvelin’s analysis fails, because (a) he neglects to rule out a class of counterfactuals to which Vihvelin’s sample-case may belong; and (b) (together with Lewis) he is wrong to suggest that future facts are irrelevant in the evaluation of time travelers’ abilities. I show instead that Vihvelin’s argument is viciously circular, indicating that even if there are nomological constraints on autoinfanticide these cannot be established a priori. (shrink)
Experimental philosophers have disagreed about whether "the folk" are intuitively incompatibilists or compatibilists, and they have disagreed about the role of abstraction in generating such intuitions. New experimental evidence using Construal Level Theory is presented. The experiments support the views that the folk are intuitively both incompatibilists and compatibilists, and that abstract mental representations do shift intuitions, but not in a univocal way.
In the aftermath of the racial disturbances that rocked the United States during the summer of 1967, the official government commission formed to investigate its causes noted: “…certain fundamental matters are clear. Of these, the most fundamental is the racial attitude and behavior of white Americans toward black Americans. Race prejudice has shaped our history decisively; it now threatens to affect our future” (U.S. Riot Commission, 1968, 203; emphasis added). Given the indisputable influence of racism and the ideology of white (...) supremacy upon our national character, Carmichael Peters has done the theological guild a great service in bringing the insights of Karl Rahner to bear upon one of the manifestations of this tragic legacy: the existence of “black rage.” In doing so, Peters seeks to demonstrate the relevance of Rahner’s thought—specifically, what he calls “the emancipatory potential of Rahner’s transcendental realism”—to one of the most neuralgic issues of U.S. public life. This response to Peter’s paper will further this discussion by examining four questions: What is “black rage?” What does Rahner add to our understanding and/or assessment of black rage? What does black rage offer to our understanding of Rahner? What does the phenomenon of black rage tell us regarding the adequacy of the Rahnerian project? (shrink)
Some attempts to understand emotion have failed to account for important features of our emotional experience ? notably, the experience of gaining insight when we express our emotions. In this essay I will hold that if we properly understand emotions, then we see that the expression of emotion contributes to the growth of consciousness by providing a process wherein consciousness can recognize and reclaim its inherent wholeness, and thereby overcome fragmentation. Hence, in this essay I will strive to: (1) demonstrate (...) that we do get insight when we express our emotions, (2) offer a suggestion as to why this feature is often overlooked, (3) propose a model for understanding the emotions that helps to explain this holistic feature of emotion, and (4) show how this insight into the nature of emotion contributes to our understanding of the growth of consciousness. (shrink)
This paper outlines what we call a network model of collective emotions. Drawing upon this model, we explore the significance of collective emotions in the Palestine-Israel conflict. We highlight some of the ways in which collective shame, in particular, has contributed to the evolution of this conflict. And we consider some of the obstacles that shame and the pride-restoring narratives to which it gave birth pose to the conflict’s resolution.
It is widely believed that empathy is a good thing, from a moral point of view. It is something we should cultivate because it makes us better people. Perhaps that’s true. But it is also sometimes suggested that empathy is somehow necessary for morality. That is the hypothesis I want to interrogate and challenge. Not only is there little evidence for the claim that empathy is necessary, there is also reason to think empathy can interfere with the ends of morality. (...) A capacity for empathy might make us better people, but placing empathy at the center of our moral lives may be ill‐advised. That is not to say that morality shouldn’t centrally involve emotions. I think emotions are essential for moral judgment and moral motivation (Prinz, 2007). It’s just that empathetic emotions are not ideally suited for these jobs. Before embarking on this campaign against empathy, I want to say a little more about the target of the attack. What is empathy? And what would it mean to say empathy is necessary for morality? With respect to the first question, much has been written. Theories of empathy abound. Batson et al. (1995: 1042) define empathy as, “as an other‐oriented emotional response congruent with the perceived welfare of another person.” This is not the definition I will be using. Batson’s construct might be better characterized as “concern,” because of its focus on another person’s welfare. Indeed, in much of his research he talks about “empathetic concern.” Notice that this construct seems to be a combination of two separable things. Being concerned for someone is worrying about their welfare, which is something one can do even if one doesn’t feel what it would be like to be in their place. One can have concern for a plant, for example, and an insect, or even an artifact, like a beautiful building that has into disrepair. Empathy, seems to connote a kind of feeling that has to be at last possible for the object of empathy. If so, “empathetic concern” combines two different things—a find of feeling‐for an object and a feeling‐on‐behalf‐of an object. Much of the empirical literature, including the superb research that Batson has done, fails to isolate these components, and, as a result, some of the existing studies are confounded. They purport to show the value of empathy, but may really show the value of concern. My focus below will be on empathy, and I leave it as an open possibility that concern is highly important, if not necessary, for morality. Indeed, concern often seems to involve an element kind of moral anger, which I will argue is very important to morality. It is also important to distinguish empathy from sympathy. Suppose I feel outraged for someone who has been brainwashed into thinking she should follow a cult leader who is urging mass suicide. That would not necessarily qualify as empathy. As Darwall (1998: 261) points out, sympathy is a third‐person emotional response, whereas empathy involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes. But 1 Darwall’s definition is also somewhat problematic. He says, “Empathy consists in feeling what one imagines he feels, or perhaps should feel (fear, say), or in some imagined copy of these feelings, whether one comes thereby to be concerned … or not.” This definition has two features, which I would like to avoid. First, the appeal to imagination seems overly intellectual. Imagination sounds like a kind of mental act that requires effort on the part of the imaginer. As Darwell recognizes, empathy in its simplest form empathy is just emotional contagion: catching the emotion that another person feels (Hatfield et al., 1994; Hoffman, 2000). It seems inflated to call contagion an imaginative act. Also, I want to resist Darwall’s application of “empathy” to cases where one has a feeling that someone should feel, but does not feel. The problem is that this tends to blur the distinction between empathy and sympathy. Suppose I encounter a member of a cult who is delighted by the cult leader’s nefarious plans. The cult member should by afraid, but is not. If I feel fear on the cult member’s behalf, that is not putting myself in the cult member’s shoes. As I will use the term, empathy requires a kind of emotional mimicry. I do not wish to imply that empathy is always an automatic process, in the way that emotional contagion is. Sometimes imagination is requires, and sometimes we experience emotions that we think someone would be experiencing, even if we have not seen direct evidence that the emotion is, in fact, being experienced. For example, one might feel empathetic hope for a marathon runner who is a few steps behind the runner is first place, or anxiety for the first place runner, and the second place runner catches up. We can experience these feelings even if the runners’ facial expressions reveal little more than muscular contortions associated with concentration and physical exertion. A situation can reveal a feeling. The core idea, as I will use the term, is that empathy is a kind of vicarious emotion: it’s feeling what one takes another person to be feeling. And the “taking” here can be a matter of automatic contagion or the result of a complicated exercise of the imagination. I don’t think there is anything anachronistic about this notion of empathy. I think it has a long tradition in moral philosophy, even though the term “empathy” is only 100 years old. The British moralists, including David Hume and Adam Smith, used “sympathy” in way that is similar to the way I want to use “empathy.” Here is Smith (1759: II.i): “Whatever is the passion which arises from any object in the person principally concerned, an analogous emotion springs up, at the thought of his situation, in the breast of every attentive spectator.” My question, in the pages that follow, is whether empathy so‐defined is necessary for morality. I should note again, in advance, that the empirical literature does not always distinguish between the constructs I have been discussing, but I do think that all the studies I discuss below can, by inference at least, shed some light on empathy as defined here. The suggestion that empathy is necessary for morality can be interpreted in at least three different ways. One might hold the view that empathy is necessary for making moral judgment. One might think empathy is necessary for moral development. And one might think empathy is necessary for motivating moral conduct. I think each of these conjectures is false. Empathy is not necessary for any of these things. We can have moral systems without empathy. Of course, it doesn’t follow directly that empathy should be eliminated from morality. One might think the modal question—Can there be morality without empathy?—and the related.... (shrink)
We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us--all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are. In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions--why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning to life. (...) Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others--philosophers and psychologists--have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense--rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion--they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity. The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way. (shrink)
Analyzing Love is concerned with four basic and neglected problems concerning love. The first is identifying its relevant features: distinguishing it from liking and benevolence and from sexual desire; describing the objects that can be loved and the judgments and aims required by love. The second question is how we recognize the presence of love and what grounds we may have for thinking it present in any particular case. The third is that of relating it to other emotions such as (...)anger and fear, and, more generally, deciding where love stands in the contrast between emotions and attitudes. Finally, the book examines how we justify our loves: can we have, and do we need, reasons for loving? What types of judgment are appropriate to love? Can we criticize a lover for his or her choices? (shrink)
Chapter 20 of book II of John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, titled ‘Of Modes of Pleasure and Pain’ is the most extensive discussion of emotions available in Locke’s corpus. Likewise, Nouveaux essais sur l’entedement humain, II, xx, together with the following chapter xxi remains the chief source of Leibniz’s views of emotions. They offer a very interesting and captivating discussion of moral philosophy and good life. The chapter provides also a great platform to study Leibniz’s argumentative techniques and (...) the differences between the philosophers in general. Locke strives to explain the emotions with a single, unifying notion of uneasiness while Leibniz’s view of the mind is much more complex and he finds more unique ways of explaining different emotions. My paper focuses on Leibniz’s critique of Lockean uneasiness as an explanans for emotions. He views uneasiness as a unavoidable part of all our mental states and therefore it is not sufficient to explain passions or moral wrong-doing of men. I will discuss such passions as love, joy, sorrow, hope, fear, despair, anger, envy and shame and consider Locke’s possible response to Leibniz’s critique. (shrink)
A counterfactual is a conditional statement in the subjunctive mood. For example: If Suzy hadn’t thrown the rock, then the bottle wouldn’t have shattered. The philosophical importance of counterfactuals stems from the fact that they seem to be closely connected to the concept of causation. Thus it seems that the truth of the above conditional is just what is required for Suzy’s throw to count as a cause of the bottle’s shattering. If philosophers were reluctant to exploit this (...) idea prior to 1970, it was because of a widespread feeling that the truth-conditions of the counterfactual conditional were not sufficiently well understood. The development of a formal semantics for counterfactuals by Robert Stalnaker  and David Lewis [1973b] stands as a major recent achievement in philosophical logic. (shrink)
Under the general heading of what we might loosely call emotional states, a familiar distinction can be drawn between emotions (strictly so-called) and moods. In order to judge under which of these headings a subject’s emotional episode falls, we advance a question of the form: What is the subject’s emotion of or about? In some cases (for example fear, sadness, and anger) the provision of an answer is straightforward: the subject is afraid of the loose tiger, or sad about (...) England’s poor performance in the World Cup, or angry with her errant child. Although the ways we find natural to talk in such situations can alter (afraid of, sad about, angry with, and so on), in each case the emotion has what Ronald de Sousa, following Wittgenstein, calls a target—“an actual particular to which that emotion relates.” (de Sousa, 1987, p.116). (shrink)
Philosophers have traditionally tried to understand the emotions and their bearing on rationality and moral motivation by assimilating emotion to other categories such as sensation, judgment, and desire. In recent years, moving away from the Cartesian identification of emotions with particular sensations, many philosophers have embraced "judgmentalism," the view that emotions are essentially evaluative judgments or beliefs, with only an accidental connection to the feelings and impulses we intuitively take as "emotional." Anger, for instance, either is or entails the (...) belief that one has been wronged and that the source of injury or offense deserves punishment. (shrink)
In this paper, we will consider the neuro-cognitive systems involved in mediating morality. Five main claims will be made. First, that there are multiple, partially separable neuro-cognitive architectures that mediate specific aspects of morality: social convention, care-based morality, disgust-based morality and fairness/justice. Second, that all aspects of morality, including social convention, involve affect. Third, that the neural system particularly important for social convention, given its role in mediating anger and responding to angry expressions, is ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Fourth, that (...) the neural systems particularly important for care-based morality are the amygdala and medial orbital frontal cortex. Fifth, that while Theory of Mind is not a prerequisite for the development of affect-based 'automatic moral attitudes', it is critically involved in many aspects of moral reasoning. (shrink)
The category of emotions covers a disputed territory, but clear examples include fear, anger, joy, pride, sadness, disgust, shame, contempt and the like. Such states are commonly thought of as antithetical to reason, disorienting and distorting practical thought. However, there is also a sense in which emotions are factors in practical reasoning, understood broadly as reasoning that issues in action. At the very least emotions can function as "enabling" causes of rational decision-making (despite the many cases in which they (...) are disabling) insofar as they direct attention toward certain objects of thought and away from others. They serve to heighten memory and to limit the set of salient practical options to a manageable set, suitable for "quick-and-dirty" decision-making. (shrink)
One of the more intractable problems in the debate over autonomy is how we should distinguish autonomy-enhancing from autonomy-compromising forms of socialization. In this paper I first survey a range of theories of autonomy, from the procedural through to the substantive, and argue that none offers sufficient resources to resolve the problem of socialization. In the second half of the paper I develop an alternative theory that can both differentiate benign from pernicious socialization and, more importantly, provide an explanation for (...) the means by which pernicious socialization compromises autonomy. (shrink)