The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions



Abstract: The ‘feeling theory of emotion’ holds that emotions are to be identified with feelings. An objection commonly made to that theory of emotion has it that emotions cannot be feelings only, as emotions have intentional objects. Jack does not just feel fear, but he feels fear-of-something. To explain this property of emotion we will have to ascribe to emotion a representational structure, and feelings do not have the sought after representational structure. In this paper I seek to defend the feeling theory of emotion against the challenge from the object-directed emotions.