Dissertation, Syracuse University (2013)

John M. Monteleone
Le Moyne College
This dissertation contends that emotions are subject to ethical assessment, not simply as motives or overt expressions, but in their own right. Emotions, I argue, are subject to assessment because they are aspects of a person's character. Specifically, emotions involve voluntary acts of attention, which are due to habituation. These acts show character by manifesting certain stable, deeply-held desires called 'concerns.' This view, dubbed 'Attentional Voluntarism,' is opposed to the prevalent view, dubbed 'Rationalism,' that emotions are subject to assessment because of their propositional content. Rationalism is unable to account for certain kinds of irrational emotion, where one forms an unwarranted emotion to avoid anxiety and secure pleasure. It exaggerates how mature and adaptive these emotions are. Attentional Voluntarism, by contrast, accounts for the childish and even infantile character behind such emotions, because the relevant habits of attention may simply be the residue from previous developmental stages.
Keywords Emotion  Attention  Moral Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,231
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Emotion, Moral Perception, and Character.Charles B. Starkey - 2001 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Standing Up for an Affective Account of Emotion.Demian Whiting - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):261-276.
The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions.Demian Whiting - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
Towards a New Feeling Theory of Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):420-442.
The Irrationality of Recalcitrant Emotions.Michael S. Brady - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):413 - 430.
Emotion, Object and Justification.Bonnelle Lewis Strickling - 1984 - Dissertation, The University of British Columbia (Canada)


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #678,854 of 2,455,387 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #303,137 of 2,455,387 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes