Philosophia 45 (4):1749-1764 (2017)

Authors
John M. Monteleone
Le Moyne College
Abstract
This paper assesses Michael Brady’s claim that the ‘capture and consumption of attention’ in an emotion facilitates evaluative understanding. It argues that emotional attention is epistemically deleterious on its own, even though it can be beneficial in conjunction with the right epistemic skills and motivations. The paper considers Sartre’s and Solomon’s claim that emotions have purposes, respectively, to circumvent difficulty or maximize self-esteem. While this appeal to purposes is problematic, it suggests a promising alternative conception of how emotions can be teleological. The fact that emotional attention manifests dispositions, which have been habituated by repeated association with pleasure or relief, explains how the emotion can acquire the function of producing pleasure or relief. Hence, the emotion can have ‘non-cognitive function,’ in which its patterns of attention reliably produce beliefs that disregard or distort the truth. Not only is non-cognitive function the default condition of emotion prior to any training, but even those who have successfully trained their emotions often revert back to non-cognitive function when faced with trauma or stress.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9862-8
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References found in this work BETA

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Emotion.William Lyons - 1980 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Epistemic Emotions and the Value of Truth.Laura Candiotto - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):563-577.

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