The Behavioral Conflict of Emotion

International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):159-173 (2014)
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ABSTRACT: This paper understands mental attitudes such as emotions and desires to be dispositions to behavior. It also acknowledges that people are often ambivalent, i.e., that they may hold opposed attitudes towards something or someone. Yet the first position seems to entail that ambivalence is either tantamount to paralysis or a contradictory notion. I identify the problem as based on a reductive interpretation of the dispositional character of attitudes and of ambivalence. The paper instead defends a post-Davidsonian view of the basic rationality of human life. By focussing on desire and emotion we can see that the mutually exclusive ways of life involved in ambivalence are manifested in the person’s conduct.



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Hili Razinsky
Universidade de Lisboa

Citations of this work

Conscious Ambivalence.Hili Razinsky - 2016 - Human Studies 39 (3):365–384.

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References found in this work

Ethical Consistency.B. A. O. Williams & W. F. Atkinson - 1965 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 39 (1):103-138.
Ambivalence.J. S. Swindell - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):23-34.
A Plea for Ambivalence.Amelie Rorty - 2009 - In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.
Aeschylus and practical conflict.Martha Nussbaum - 1985 - Ethics 95 (2):233-267.

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