Emotional Actions Without Goals

Erkenntnis:1-31 (forthcoming)

Isaac Wiegman
Texas State University
Recent accounts of emotional action intend to explain such actions without reference to goals. Nevertheless, these accounts fail to specify the difference between goals and other kinds of motivational states. I offer two remedies. First, I develop an account of goals based on Michael Smith’s arguments for the Humean theory of motivation. On this account, a goal is a unified representation that determines behavior selection criteria and satisfaction conditions for an action. This opens the possibility that mental processes could influence behavior without such a unified representation and hence, without goals. Second, I develop a model of emotions and appetites on which behavior selection criteria can be decoupled from satisfaction conditions. If this model is correct, then in many cases, there is no unified representation that determines the behavior selection criteria and satisfaction conditions of emotional actions. In contrast with many traditional accounts of action, the model suggests the following: Whether or not a behavior constitutes an action does not depend on the agent’s grasp of the behavior’s aim. Rather, a behavior constitutes an action if it was organized by the agent, where an agent can organize actions without a coherent grasp of their aim. Some emotional actions are manifestations of this possibility.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-019-00200-8
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,330
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

Explaining Irrational Actions.Jesse S. Summers - 2017 - Ideas Y Valores 66 (S3):81-96.
Comment: Every Action Is an Emotional Action.Bence Nanay - 2017 - Emotion Review 9 (4):350-352.
Emotionally Guiding Our Actions.Mary Carman - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):43-64.
Real Emotions.Craig DeLancey - 1998 - Philosophical Psychology 11 (4):467-487.
Behavior and action.Stanisław Judycki - 2006 - Diametros:82-97.
The Action Game: A Computational Model for Learning Repertoires of Goals and Vocabularies to Express Them in a Population of Agents.Bart Jansen & Jan Cornelis - 2012 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 13 (2):285-313.
On the Self-Regulation of Behavior.Charles S. Carver - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
When Actions Are Carved at the Joints.Merideth Gattis, Harold Bekkering & Andreas Wohlschläger - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):691-692.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,141,650 of 2,286,096 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #319,399 of 2,286,096 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature