The Rationality of Emotional Change: Toward a Process View

Noûs 55 (2):245-269 (2021)

Abstract

The paper argues against a widely held synchronic view of emotional rationality. I begin by considering recent philosophical literature on various backward‐looking emotions, such as regret, grief, resentment, and anger. I articulate the general problem these accounts grapple with: a certain diminution in backward‐looking emotions seems fitting while the reasons for these emotions seem to persist. The problem, I argue, rests on the assumption that if the facts that give reason for an emotion remain unchanged, the emotion remains fitting. However, I argue there are rationally self‐consuming attitudes: affective attitudes that become less fitting the longer they endure while the facts that give reason for them persist. A widely held synchronic view of fitting affective attitudes denies that fittingness at a time depends on the agent's attitudes at different times and therefore denies that the fittingness of an affective attitude can depend on its duration. Once we reject the synchronic view, we may see that affective attitudes are often fitting due to the fitting processes of which they are part. These fitting processes explain the fitting diminution of backward‐looking emotions as well as other diachronic aspects of the fittingness of emotions.

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Author's Profile

Oded Na'aman
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Wrong Kind of Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.
Fittingness First.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):575-606.
Equal Treatment for Belief.Susanna Rinard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1923-1950.

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Citations of this work

The fitting resolution of anger.Oded Na’Aman - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2417-2430.
Two Problems of Fitting Grief.Julius Schönherr - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):240-247.
What Makes Something Surprising?Dan Baras & Oded Na’Aman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Fittingness: A User’s Guide.Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford University Press.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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