The irrationality of recalcitrant emotions

Philosophical Studies 145 (3):413 - 430 (2009)
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Abstract

A recalcitrant emotion is one which conflicts with evaluative judgement. (A standard example is where someone is afraid of flying despite believing that it poses little or no danger.) The phenomenon of emotional recalcitrance raises an important problem for theories of emotion, namely to explain the sense in which recalcitrant emotions involve rational conflict. In this paper I argue that existing ‘neojudgementalist’ accounts of emotions fail to provide plausible explanations of the irrationality of recalcitrant emotions, and develop and defend my own neojudgementalist account. On my view, recalcitrant emotions are irrational insofar as they incline the subject to accept an evaluative construal that the subject has already rejected.

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Michael S. Brady
University of Glasgow

References found in this work

The Emotions.Nico H. Frijda - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
The passions.Robert C. Solomon (ed.) - 1976 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology.Robert Campbell Roberts - 2003 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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