More Than A Feeling: The Communicative Function of Regret

Benjamin Matheson
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Rüdiger Bittner argues that regret is not useful and so it is always unreasonable to feel and express it. In this paper, I argue that regret is often reasonable because regret has a communicative function: it communicates where we stand with respect to things we have done and outcomes that we have caused. So, I not only argue that Bittner’s argument is unsuccessful, I also shed light on the nature and purpose of regret.
Keywords regret  communicative function  emotions  Rudiger Bittner  Bernard Williams
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09672559.2017.1381414
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: 49,066
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ”Appropriateness' of Emotions.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
The Moralistic Fallacy: On the 'Appropriateness' of Emotions.Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Many Flavours of Regret.Carolyn Price - 2020 - The Monist 103 (2):147-162.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Regret and the Control of Temporary Preferences.Terry Connolly & Jochen Reb - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):653-654.
Value in the Guise of Regret.Carla Bagnoli - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (2):169 – 187.
Regretting the Impossible.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2018 - In Jacob Goodson (ed.), William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 121-139.
Emotional Expressions of Moral Value.Julie Tannenbaum - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):43 - 57.
Regret and Moral Maturity: A Response to Michael Ing and Manyul Im.Amy Olberding - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (4):579-587.
What is the Link Between Regret and Weakness of Will?Mathieu Doucet - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):448-461.
On Regretting Things I Didn't Do and Couldn't Have Done.Jules Holroyd - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (3):403-413.
A Theory of Regret.Brian Price - 2017 - Duke University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
59 ( #154,223 of 2,311,205 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #158,365 of 2,311,205 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature