The issue of whether emotions are rational is at the centre of philosophical and psychological discussions. I believe that emotions are rational, but that they follow different principles to those of intellectual reasoning. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the unique logic of emotions. I begin by suggesting that we should conceive of emotions as a general mode of the mental system; other modes are the perceptual and intellectual modes. One feature distinguishing one mode from another is the (...) logical principles underlying its information processing mechanism. Before describing these principles, I clarify the notion of ‘rationality,’ arguing that in an important sense emotions can be rational. (shrink)
Computers have changed not just the way we work but the way we love. Falling in and out of love, flirting, cheating, even having sex online have all become part of the modern way of living and loving. Yet we know very little about these new types of relationship. How is an online affair where the two people involved may never see or meet each other different from an affair in the real world? Is online sex still cheating on your (...) partner? Why do people tell complete strangers their most intimate secrets? What are the rules of engagement? Will online affairs change the monogamous nature of romantic relationships? These are just some of the questions Professor Aaron Ben Ze'ev, distinguished writer and academic, addresses in this book, a full-length study of love online. Accessible, shocking, entertaining, enlightening, this book will change the way you look at cyberspace and love forever. (shrink)
Emotions are fascinating phenomena which occupy a pivotal position in our lives. I have presented elsewhere (Ben-Ze'ev, 2000) a comprehensive framework for understanding emotions in our everyday life. The paper briefly describes the characterization of typical emotions, while indicating their relevance to online personal relationships. It discusses issues such as emotional complexity; the typical emotional cause, concern, and object; emotions and intelligence; and managing the emotions. The paper then goes on to examine whether the emotions elicited in online relationships are (...) similar to those in face-to-face relationships or whether we are witnessing the emergence of new types of emotions. (shrink)
This article provides a conceptual map of the affective terrain while focusing on enduring positive affective attitudes, such as love and happiness. The first section of the article examines the basic characteristics of affective attitudes, i.e., intentionality, feeling, and dispositionality, and classifies the various affective attitudes accordingly. An important distinction in this regard is between acute, extended, and enduring affective attitudes. Then a discussion on the temporality of affective attitudes is presented. The second section discusses major mechanisms that enable long-lasting (...) affective attitudes to endure. These mechanisms include, Hedonic adaptation, which reduces affective intensity, thereby enabling adaptation to a stable, average level of affective intensity; Positive mood offset, which maintains a moderate level of positive mood in the absence of adverse stimuli; The enduring mood of being dissatisfied, thereby keeping the agent’s interest high, and Meaningful development, which underlies the continuation and enhancement of the affective attitude. Each of these mechanisms sustains, in its own unique way, the balance required for enduring affective attitudes. The third section applies the above considerations to two major enduring positive affective attitudes: the mood of lasting happiness and the enduring emotion of profound romantic love. Time is typically a necessary condition for the creation and enhancement of such love. However, it is not a sufficient condition. So only in some cases, but not in all, does loving longer mean loving more. (shrink)
When it comes to eggs, two aspects are central—taste and nutritional value. And it is when eggs are fresh that these are at their peak. Hate “tastes” worst, that is, its negative intensity is highest, when it is fresh. Yet, when hate is not merely a temporary eruption but a constant feature, it distorts the agent’s behavior and attitudes. As such, its moral value worsens with maturity.
Intriguing, and occasionally unsettling, In Defense of Sin is a refreshingly frank exploration of some real facts of life. Portmann gathers an on-target collection of great writers on transgressions large and small. Read about defenses for promiscuity, greed, deceit, gossip, lust, breaking the golden rule, and more--and use this unusual guide to decide for yourself if sin has a place in our contemporary, and virtually unshockable, society. Provocative and illuminating, this book may change how you think about sin, morality, and (...) what's right. Contributors include Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Anthony Ellis, Jane English, Ludwig Feuerbach, Sigmund Freud, Bernard Mandeville, Jerome Neu, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Novitz, Joyce Carol Oates, David A.J. Richards, Seneca, Jonathan Swift, Richard Wasserstrom, and Oscar Wilde. (shrink)
This volume brings together a collection of essays on the philosophy of love by leading contributors to the discussion. Particular emphasis is placed upon the relation between love, its character and appropriateness and the objects towards which it is directed: romantic and erotic partners, persons, ourselves, strangers, non-human animals and art. It includes contributions by Aaron Ben Ze’ev (‘Ain’t Love Nothing but Sex Misspelled?’), by Angelika Krebs (‘Between I and Thou – On the Dialogical Nature of Love’), Aaron (...) Smuts (‘Is it Better to Love Better Things?’) and Jan Bransen (‘Loving a Stranger’). By focusing upon the different objects of love, and how the lover enters into a relation with them, the collection pushes beyond the recent debates on reasons for love and breaks new and important ground. (shrink)
Many testimonies, as well as fictional works, describe situations in which people find themselves hating the person that they love. This might initially appear to be contradiction, as how can one love and hate the same person at the same time? A discussion of this problem requires making a distinction between logical consistency and psychologically compatibility. Hating the one you love may be a consistent experience, but it raises difficulties concerning its psychological compatibility.
The moral status of emotions has recently become the focus of various philosophical investigations. Certain emotions that have traditionally been considered as negative, such as envy, jealousy, pleasure-in-others'-misfortune, and pride, have been defended. Some traditionally "negative" emotions have even been declared to be moral emotions. In this brief paper, I suggest two basic criteria according to which an emotion might be considered moral, and I then examine whether envy, anger, and resentment are moral emotions.
The search for the essence of emotions is a common feature of various views of emotions—many of which attempt to reduce emotions to one central component. Three major views that seek to define emotions via a basic component are: that emotions are essentially a cognitive-evaluative state; that emotions are feelings; that emotions are desires. I believe that all these reductions are inadequate. I focus here on as expressed in Nussbaum’s recent view of emotions. I begin, however, by briefly discussing and.
The relationship between emotions and argumentation is not always clear. I attempt to clarify this issue by referring to three basic questions: (1) Do emotions constitute a certain kind of argumentation?; (2) Do emotions constitute rational argumentation?; (3) Do emotions constitute efficient argumentation? I will claim that there are many circumstances in which the answer to these questions is positive. After describing such circumstances, the educational implications of the connection between emotions and argumentation will be indicated.
This paper critically examines Ortony, Clore & Collins's book The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. The book is found to present a very valuable, comprehensive and systematic account of emotions. Despite its obvious value the book has various flaws; these are discussed and an alternative is suggested.
This article highlights a somewhat neglected aspect of love : their complexity. We suggest distinguishing between three major related types of emotional complexity: emotional diversity, emotional ambivalence, and emotional behavior. The notion of emotional complexity has far-reaching implications for understanding emotions and our wellbeing. This is illustrated by examining the notion of emotional complexity in two common yet complex phenomena in the romantic realm: romantic compromises and polyamory.
This book is about love - our ideals of love, our experiences of love, and the fatal consequences of love. A unique collaboration between a leading philosopher in the field of emotions and a social scientist, In The Name of Love presents fascinating insights into romantic love and its future in modern society.
Today appraisal theories are the foremost approach to emotions in philosophy and psychology. The general assumption underlying these theories is that evaluations (appraisals) are the most crucial factor in emotions. This assumption may imply that: (a) evaluative pattems distinguish one emotion from another; (b) evaluative pattems distinguish emotions from nonemotions; (e) emotional evaluations of the eliciting event determine emotional intensity. These claims are not necessarily related. Accepting one of them does not necessarily imply acceptance of the others. I believe that (...) whereas (b) is false, (a) and (c) are basically true. (shrink)