Explaining action by emotion

Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):214-230 (2003)
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Abstract

I discuss two ways in which emotions explain actions: in the first, the explanation is expressive; in the second, the action is not only explained but also rationalized by the emotion's intentional content. The belief-desire model cannot satisfactorily account for either of these cases. My main purpose is to show that the emotions constitute an irreducible category in the explanation of action, to be understood by analogy with perception. Emotions are affective perceptions. Their affect gives them motivational force, and they can rationalize actions because, like perception, they have a representational intentional content. Because of this, an emotion can non-inferentially justify a belief which in its turn justifies or rationalizes an action; so emotions may constitute a source of moral knowledge

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Sabine Döring
University Tübingen

Citations of this work

A Perceptual Theory of Hope.Michael Milona & Katie Stockdale - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
Emotional Justification.Santiago Echeverri - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):541-566.
Anger and its desires.Laura Silva - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):1115-1135.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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