Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):779-800 (2018)

John M. Monteleone
Le Moyne College
Some philosophers hold that the depth of an emotion is a question of how embedded it is among the person’s other mental states. That means, the emotion is inter-connected with other states such that its alteration or removal would lead to widespread changes in the mind. This paper argues that it is necessary to distinguish two different concepts of embeddedness: the inter-connections could either be rational or causal. The difference is non-trivial. This paper argues that the rational approach cannot admit that certain types of recalcitrant emotion are deep without violating requirements of charity in the interpretation of others. Furthermore, it also argues that the causal approach is necessary to explain the depth of even non-recalcitrant emotions. So, if emotional depth is to be conceived as a kind of embeddedness, the relevant concept of embeddedness must be the causal one.
Keywords Emotion  Depth  Concerns  Irrationality  Recalcitrance
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy014
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