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This paper discusses recent interpretations of Jean-Paul Sartre's early theory of emotions, in particular his Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions. Despite the great interest that Sartre's approach has generated, most interpretations assume that his approach fails because it appears to be focussed on ‘malformed’, ‘irrational’ or ‘distorted’ emotions. I argue that these criticisms adopt a rationalistic or epistemically biassed perspective on emotions that is wrongly applied to Sartre's text. In my defence of Sartre I show that the directional (...)