Imaginary Emotions

The Monist 96 (4):505-516 (2013)

Authors
Adam Morton
University of British Columbia
Abstract
I give grounds for taking seriously the possibility that some of the emotions we ascribe do not exist. I build on the premise that the experience of imagining an emotion resembles that of having one. First a person imagines having an emotion. This is much like an emotion, so the person takes herself to be having the emotion that she imagines, and acts or expects a disposition to act accordingly. The view sketched here contrasts possibly impossible emotions such as disembodied passion, blind rage, and Quixotic courage with real ones such as affection, anger, and bravery. Both these real emotions and the states of imagining impossible ones are things that really happen to us.
Keywords emotion  imagination  self-ascription  selof-knowledge
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.5840/monist201396423
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