How is Recalcitrant Emotion Possible?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):577-599 (2013)

Authors
Hagit Benbaji
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Abstract
A recalcitrant emotion is an emotion that we experience despite a judgment that seems to conflict with it. Having been bitten by a dog in her childhood, Jane cannot shake her fear of dogs, including Fido, the cute little puppy that she knows to be in no way dangerous. There is something puzzling about recalcitrant emotions, which appear to defy the putatively robust connection between emotions and judgments. If Jane really believes that Fido cannot harm her, what is she afraid of? This article seeks to show how recalcitrant emotion is possible. I argue that reductive theories that identify emotions with judgments, desires, or some combination thereof, cannot explain the possibility of emotional irrationality without contradiction. I then show that the appeal to sui generis attitudes also fails to solve the puzzle of recalcitrant emotions, and diagnose this failure as stemming from a misleading analogy between emotions and perceptions, and in particular, between recalcitrant emotions and perceptual illusions. The solution can be found in a different analogy: between emotions and actions; more specifically, between recalcitrant emotions and weakness of the will, akrasia. Like akratic actions, recalcitrant emotions entail responding to reasons, but to inferior reasons. Irrational but non-contradictory emotions are possible just as weakness of will is possible
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2012.699078
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,365
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

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Recalcitrant Fears of Death.Kristen Hine - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (4):454-466.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Conceptual Framework for the Investigation of Emotions.P. M. S. Hacker - 2009 - In Ylva Gustafsson, Camilla Kronqvist & Michael McEachrane (eds.), Emotions and Understanding: Wittgensteinian Perspectives. Palgrave-Macmillan.
The Conceptual Framework for the Investigation of the Emotions.Peter M. S. Hacker - 2004 - International Review of Psychiatry 16 (3):199-208.
Emotions and the Intelligibility of Akratic Action.Christine Tappolet - 2003 - In Sarah Stroud & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 97--120.
Emotion and Action.Jing Zhu & Paul Thagard - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (1):19 – 36.
The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions.Demian Whiting - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
Recalcitrant Emotions and Visual Illusions.Michael S. Brady - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3):273 - 284.
Emotion Explained.Edmund T. Rolls - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Explaining Action by Emotion.Sabine A. Döring - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):214-230.
Against Emotion: Hanslick Was Right About Music.Nick Zangwill - 2004 - British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1):29-43.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-07-31

Total views
102 ( #80,207 of 2,271,753 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #70,771 of 2,271,753 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature